Brendan Murtha

Photograph of Brendan Murtha

Brendan Murtha '14 from Natick, Mass.

Reversing College-Process Apathy

When the college search and application process began I was hardly excited. I just wanted to enjoy my senior year rather than spend tedious hours filling out applications and composing essays. I looked at five or six schools before arriving at Dickinson. I didn’t know much about it, but I knew it sounded like an interesting place. Still, going to the campus I had the immature idea in my mind that I didn’t really care [about the college process]. After this first tour and information session my mind was changed. I left campus that afternoon knowing that Dickinson was the college I wanted to attend. I was thrilled: a decision I figured would test my abilities turned out to be one of the easiest and best decisions of my life.

Size, Location and a College Farm

It was definitely a strange feeling to know where I really wanted to go. I loved Dickinson for its location, small size, dedication to sustainability and the College Farm (the most exciting part for me). No other school I saw combined all of these traits so well. On the car ride back to the hotel, already sure that I would apply, I mentioned to my mom that Early Decision might be a good choice for me. All those I spoke to about my decision felt it was a great option. Although I didn’t need any reassurance that Dickinson was where I wanted to go next year, contact with the admissions staff was very helpful and informative. My regional counselor helped answer my questions both about the application and just the school in general. He helped me plan my tours and interviews and I tried to return the favor by introducing some of my friends to Dickinson as a potential choice. For anyone in my position or on the fence about applying ED or just applying at all, I encourage you to be in contact with the admissions staff.

Benefits of Applying ED

When the fall came around and working on college applications became a daily routine, I recall my friends being overwhelmed by applications. One of the benefits of applying Early Decision was that I was focusing on a single application. I could put all my energy and ideas into one. I remember the supplementary essay focusing on how Benjamin Rush encouraged global education and thought. This only furthered my interest in the study-abroad programs Dickinson offered, especially the environmental-science-based curriculum in Brisbane, Australia, and pushed me to finish my application. Getting my acceptance in December was one of the most exciting days of my senior year. As I am sure many other ED students would agree, knowing where you’re going to school three months before most others get their acceptance letters is very comforting. It was a dream come true. I knew where I was going, it was my first choice and I only managed to do two applications. Going ED was one of the best choices I feel I have made. I encourage anyone who is truly excited about Dickinson to consider Early Decision in the application process.