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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Strickland takes the next jump in college admissions

Editor’s note: This year, the Falcon will be following the trials and tribulations of the college application process. Claire Strickland is the second of two seniors who will be profiled in this series. This story is the second in the series.

Like many other seniors,  Claire Strickland has a dream college: New York University (NYU). Strickland is looking for a place to be independent, and NYU fits the description: It doesn’t even have a campus center.

Accordingly, she is applying early decision to NYU. The results will come out on Dec. 15. If she is accepted, she will not have to apply to other colleges, since early decision admissions are binding.

If not, Strickland hopes to garner admission from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), a New York state school that ranks as one of the top five fashion schools in the world.

Because FIT does not accept the Common App, Strickland combined a personal essay from the Common App with various supplemental essays for private schools into one submission.

Because she has been struggling with some of her regular decision applications, she said she is glad that she early decision results are coming out soon.  

“I’m honestly very excited and not that nervous,” Strickland said.

Another school Strickland hopes to be admitted to is Brown University, because of its proximity to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Yet Strickland said she is not applying to RISD itself because she visited the Rhode Island campus and  concluded that the environment would lack the diversity and inspiration she wanted.

“Brown offers the possibility of attending classes at RISD while still attending school at Brown,” Strickland said. “This is something I'm interested in.”

Although writing essays for eight schools is time-consuming, Strickland said she tries to write her essays with a genuine, laid-back voice.

Strickland said she begins many of her supplemental essays with a personal anecdote for her hook, then explains how this event has shaped her thinking. For instance, Strickland said that in one essay she wrote about the time she and her brother dug a hole in the ground, trying to reach China.

“I connected that to my lack of worldview in certain aspects of fashion, which [is] ironic because it [is] the industry I [am] so interested in,” she said. “I went on talking about how I deliberately went about discovering the facets of fashion.”

Strickland said she often second-guesses herself when writing supplemental essays because she isn’t sure if what she has written would sound acceptable or interesting to an admissions officer.

“The tough thing about college admissions is that you don’t get to talk to them in person [or] see them in person unless you're fortunate enough to have an interview,” Strickland said. “I’d like to say I know [how] to write a well-constructed essay and make it come across as impressive or very eloquent, [but I don’t].”

Still, Strickland said she isn’t feeling overwhelmed; she sees stress as a matter of perspective. Fortunately, Strickland finished all her supplemental essays for NYU during Thanksgiving break and now has time to study for finals.

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