Accepted Students Share Stories of Anticipation, Disbelief

As the clock approached 5 p.m. on Thursday, Flavia Cuervo began to dread checking her email’s inbox.

“I got the email, and I still didn’t want to open it,” said Cuervo, who is a senior at Miami Lakes Educational Center in Florida. “But my mom kept asking me to and everyone was yelling at me.”

Cuervo turned out to be one of 1,031 students admitted via regular decision to Harvard’s Class of 2018. She and her fellow regular-decision admittees join the 992 students admitted under early action in the fall, comprising a total admitted class of 2,023.

To relieve stress from waiting for the College’s decision email, Cuervo, who was on spring break, said she bought ice cream and went shopping for prom dresses before hearing of her admittance.

Other students on spring break this week faced the task of distracting themselves before decisions were released.

Jacqueline D. Goodman, a student at Horace Mann School in New York, said she spent the week watching “Game of Thrones” in order to keep her mind off her anxiety. According to Goodman, that anxiety was only heightened when she tried to sign into Harvard’s admitted student’s web portal and the page would not load.

Goodman said she had almost given up on checking the portal when it loaded and that her admission was a “great surprise.”

“It was so bizarre,” she said, recalling the moment she learned of her acceptance. “It’s like you almost aren't reading that ‘Congratulations.’ It was an out-of-body experience.”

Some admitted students said that they purposefully tried to forget about their applications after they submitted them in January.

“I kind of adopted a zen approach,” said Henry D. Shreffler of Brookline, Mass. “I realized once I hit submit on the Common App and once I did my interview, there was nothing I could do to change things.”

Karen M. Maldonado of Houston, Texas, said that she also tried not to give much thought to the decision she would be receiving nearly three months after she submitted her application.

“To be honest, the type of person I am, I really did not give much thought to it,” she said. “I tried to disconnect myself from it because it was a very real possibility that I would not get in.”

When she did receive her acceptance email, Maldonado said that she started jumping up and down with her parents and that the news spread fast among her friends.

Maldonado and other students said they are excited to attend Visitas, Harvard’s visiting weekend for prospective students, slated for the last weekend of April.

—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at Follow him on twitter @trdelwic.

—Staff writer Meg P. Bernhard can be reached at Follow her on twitter @Meg_Bernhard.