The first time I toured Conn, it was a gray, gloomy day in the middle of February. It was probably -13 degrees outside and there was about 7 feet of snow on the ground (the average February temperature is 40 degrees, average total snowfall is 7 inches). Although the weather wasn't up to par, I still enjoyed the school, and the programs that were offered.

A couple months later, I visited the school again, this time with perfect weather. It’s safe to say this visit made a world of difference for me. Just being able to walk around campus made me fall in love with the place. It was breathtaking. After the tour was over, while I was walking back to admissions with my mom, I turned to her and said, “This is where I want to go to school….this is the perfect place for me.” She smiled and agreed. 

Summer began and all I could think about was getting into Conn. I was in on-and-off contact with one of the admissions counselors and I started working on my application essay. Once my senior year of high school began, I had an interview with the admission counselor and was very happy with how it went. I did everything I possibly could to put myself in the highest potential position to get in. One of these things was applying early decision (ED). I decided I was going to apply ED to Conn after I had toured in June. I knew it was exactly where I wanted to go to school, so why not?

Applying ED was somewhat stressful only because the application was due so much earlier than regular decision, but I had started my essay and Common Application early enough to have it done in time. I applied ED because I was 100 percent confident that Conn would be a place where I would thrive and reach my fullest potential as a student. Now, almost three months into my time here, I knew applying ED was the right choice and I would not do anything differently.

I would say that waiting was the hardest part. I sent in my application about a week before it was due in early November, and I knew I was going to find out in mid December. Those five weeks felt like 100 years. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t going to get in or that I was going to get deferred, and nothing that anyone told me would make me feel better. The week before decisions were announced, I got an email telling me the exact day and time I would be hearing from Conn. Unfortunately, I had a dance performance the exact same weekend and, of course, I was supposed to received my acceptance email the first night of my show.

The day finally came and I was doing everything I possibly could not to think about it. Right before our first show, one of my best friends, who had applied ED to Wesleyan, got an email. We quickly scrambled to find a quiet, empty place so we could read it. She anxiously opened the email and found that she had been deferred.

After the first show, I used all my remaining willpower to focus on the dance and not on my inbox. In the half hour between performances I got a text from a friend who had also applied ED to Conn saying that he had gotten in. My heart started racing and I brought my three best friends to a quiet place to check the status of my application. I held my phone tight and I was so nervous that I was shaking, which made it difficult to type my username and password into the website. Once I logged on, I took a deep breath and opened up to a letter. It read, “Dear Isabel, There is no greater honor for a dean of admission to extend than an offer of admission to an applicant….”

I was in shock. It was an incredibly surreal moment. My friend took my phone and continued to read my letter of acceptance. I was crying because I couldn’t believe that everything I had worked for the past six months had finally paid off. It was easily the best feeling in the entire world.

I will always remember that moment. A feeling of accomplishment and success rushed through me that day and has pushed me to work hard and know that really anything is possible. Applying ED was one of the smartest choices I have ever made and I strongly recommend it if you find the right school (Conn is an amazing place!).