The Potentially Epic: Why You Should Film Your College Decisions

An anecdote and some insights for current applicants. By: Annie Jain

My Ivy Day (March 28, 2019) college reactions YouTube video

Did I ever plan to video my reactions to college decisions?


Did I ever predict what would happen when I had the camera rolling?

Absolutely Not.

In fact, before all was said and done, I adamantly refused to ever to press the record button before clicking on potentially life-changing links.

For one, I was frightened beyond belief of rejection – an overwhelming sentiment many high school seniors carry throughout the applications process, often shouldering the burden of this fear for months on end. This debilitating terror carried into my refusal, at first, to record myself opening college letters.

Why would I ever want to immortalize a potentially embarrassing moment or low point in my educational career? Why would I ever want to expose myself to the camera during some of my most raw and vulnerable moments, capturing a blend of repressed hope, anticipation, and nerves that would, statistically, give way to potential extreme sadness?

Then one day, LeAnn (who had already committed to UChicago) asked me if she could film my college reactions on Ivy Day – March 28 – for fun. At this point in time, I had already received a couple of acceptances (and rejections), zero of which I had filmed, and had basically decided which college I wanted to attend: Northwestern University. I had a few final letters to open on March 28, but honestly, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. And my mind was pretty much made up.

So at this point, I figured I had nothing to lose: since I already knew where I was going… right? “Go ahead, you’re just going to see a ton of rejections” I told her, masking the small, fluttering, impossible-to-kill, internal hope that every senior applicant harbors deep within them, “and maybe a waitlist if I’m lucky, but we can have some fun!”

Next… well what happened next is an awe-striking moment that is extremely difficult to put into words. Luckily, I do have a video though!

Considering all this, here are a few reasons you should film yourself despite your most crushing terrors:

  • The video is like a live journal entry of a potentially epic moment that you might want to revisit someday!
  • You DO NOT have to post the video like I did, it can totally be just for you to keep!
  • In fact, you can even potentially delete the video afterwards if you want to.
  • Basically, like, why not?

I absolutely regret not videoing all of my decisions, even the ones that left me in the dumps afterwards. Watching my Youtube video after over a year was very insightful – seeing how I reacted with shock to waitlists, clueless that an acceptance was on the way, was especially exciting to witness.

All this being said, the opposite is true too: don’t be obsessed with making a great college reactions video or think too much about it. In the moment, try to forget the camera is rolling (I for one, totally forgot… evidenced by the incessant, bleeped-out cursing). You want to remember and capture an authentic reaction.

And beforehand, try to put the moment itself out of your mind (as hard as it is); your priority should be creating the best applications possible, knowing that any outcome will most likely lead to a great future, and accepting that disappointments happen but that their effects are temporary. I will potentially forever regret not enjoying my senior year to the max due to apocalyptic visions of March hanging over my head. And as much as you think “Man I’m so done with high school,” remember that you’re living some moments you will literally never get back.

Hence, I can give you all the advice you want on forging a great application, but my biggest advice of all for high school seniors is to treasure your remaining time with your childhood friends, family, and teachers.

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