Andrew Lutz

Name: Andrew Lutz
Age: 18
Activities: Tennis, worked on the school newspaper, community service project in Odessa, Ukraine
Applied to: Tufts (early decision), Case Western Reserve University, University of Maryland-College Park
Accepted at: Tufts (early decision), Case Western, withdrew application to Maryland

In his words: When I look back at my four years in high school, the hours upon hours of schoolwork are the first thing to come to mind. Freshman year was easy, despite spending five or ten hours on an English project during winter break. The same goes for sophomore year; however, my winter break was this time consumed with about 20 hours of work on my science fair project, not to mention the stress of studying for my first two Advanced Placement (AP) tests in May. As a junior, I again thought I had it hard with studying for the SAT, which I took twice, and taking four AP tests in May. There was a developing trend; I found myself saying, "I can't believe I thought last year was hard," as the work piled higher and higher year to year. Junior year was very hard, at the time, as college entered the scene. Many a Friday or Saturday night, after I got home around 12 A.M., I would take about a half an hour or so to memorize vocabulary or take a practice section. I also realized that my resume was lacking in extracurricular activities, and, although I joined many clubs for fun, I will admit that part of my motivation for joining such clubs as National Honor Society or Greatness in Literature or Math Club -- I had leadership as the Treasurer -- was because it looked good on a college application. And I was right. Come senior year, and college application time, I was very glad to be able to say I participated in many extracurricular activities. Little did I realize that the college application process, in conjunction with a heavy senior-year workload, would prove to be one of the most stressful periods of my life.

As I began my college applications, I was also swamped with schoolwork; I had made sure to take a very difficult schedule which would look good for college. I applied to three schools: the University of Maryland, Case Western Reserve University, and Tufts University, my top choice. As I was a tennis recruit to Case Western and Tufts, I was almost guaranteed admission by the coaches, although I hoped to receive some merit money to Case Western. Despite this fact, I still felt a need to put all of my effort into each of my applications; after all, the coach ultimately is not the person reading my application. This being said, I spent many hours writing, and especially editing the total of six essays I submitted to my three schools. My parents, a couple friends and my English teacher must have read the same essay numerous times. Come December, the anxiety hit, and I had almost forgotten about the "guarantee" of getting into Tufts early decision. The two weeks leading up to December 15th went by very slowly to say the least. Despite all the effort and stress, I got into Tufts and received merit money from Case Western, which complicated the decision. Tufts was my dream school, but Case Western would cost significantly less. I applied for tons of scholarships outside of college, as Tufts does not give out any scholarships, totaling $80,000 or so and have yet to receive any money. I can now say that I am going to Tufts and although I will be paying my way after undergraduate school, I feel I made the right decision. I hope my experience at Tufts as a pre-med, Economics major and tennis player will be all that I hope it to be.

Through all the work I have put in to school and college and scholarship applications, I have no regrets. It has helped create work ethic that will carry me through college and graduate school, and hopefully, the rest of my life. Although the heavy workload has been stressful at times, society constantly demands better and better goods and services, which ultimately leads back to greater work ethics and better education. The seemingly overwhelming workload I have done and will continue to do through my schooling is the reason our society is always innovating. In the end, the college application process marked the peak of my high school workload, but all my time and effort was worth it.

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