“March madness” is a term that can apply to both the hype of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament and to the situation seniors find themselves in throughout the month. Although the former encapsulates competition within college, the latter refers to the competition to get into college, as March is typically the month in which seniors receive the most admission offers—and rejections—from their respective colleges.
The spring season is already one of stress, especially for seniors, who are expected to find the perfect prom outfit, apply for financial aid and maintain a decent GPA in spite of senioritis. On top of all that, college decisions are being sent out. All of a sudden we regret the choices we’d made just a few months ago, wondering why we didn’t apply to fewer schools that seem ridiculously out of our league—wishing that we had increased our ratio of “safety” to “match” schools, eliminating the “reach” category altogether.
Although the idea of pieces of paper (letters or emails) deciding the possibilities of the next few years of our lives is terrifying, it is also thrilling. Receiving an acceptance is a gratifying thing, as it validates the struggle of our last four years. The desire for recognition is only human and there is no better feeling than when perfect strangers appreciate you. Even rejections, though temporarily painful, can at least end the anxiety of not knowing and guide us towards the institutions which are the best fit. Ultimately, “March madness” should be a time for excitement, as it is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.