Jon Monfred

Name: Jon Monfred
Age: 17
Activities: Lacrosse, soccer, editor of the school newspaper, tutoring of middle school students
Applied to: University of Pennsylvania (early decision)
Accepted at: University of Pennsylvania (early decision)

In his words: I'm not going to lie. The period of time from the middle of junior year to the middle of senior year is not fun. The school workload is intense, even crushing at times. Exams abound, from the SAT and SAT Subject Tests to the ACT and AP tests. And the college search and admissions process is a complex labyrinth that can lead to stress and disappointment. But in the end, it is all worth it.

By the end of seventh grade, I was fairly certain I had already completed my college search. Growing up in Maryland as the son of a Duke University alum, I became a staunch Blue Devils fan in reliable Terrapin territory. Having endured taunts from my friends over the years when Maryland happened to beat Duke in basketball (a truly rare occurrence), I began seeing myself in Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina, screaming my head off during Duke games. I visited Duke in my junior year and I really did fall in love with the school. Not only is the campus beautiful, but Duke has an amazing academic program.

I had completed 75 percent of the Duke application and I was prepared to apply early decision when my mom and uncle, both graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, reminded me that I had only visited one school. I agreed to check out Penn and see what it had to offer. After an information session and tour, I really began to see myself at Penn. Penn is so unique in that it has a beautiful campus in the center of downtown Philadelphia. Its academic program is outstanding and it really caters to students with interests in multiple fields of study. Ultimately, and somewhat impulsively, I decided to begin my application to Penn just one month before the early-decision deadline.

By November 1, my application was in and the waiting began. For the first month, I was so preoccupied with my schoolwork that I didn't think much about hearing from Penn. But with two weeks until decisions came out, I could think about little else. Learning more and more about Penn and talking more with students and alumni, I really became attached to the school. With one week before decisions came out, I lost all focus in school. I was stuck in limbo, not knowing what the future held for me. I didn't want to think about completing more college applications in the case of deferral or rejection. Luckily, I didn't have to. Having mentally prepared for rejection, I checked the website and learned that I had been accepted to Penn. I am thrilled to be going to Penn next year, and I am also very happy to be done with the college search and admissions process.

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