The college journey for Alanna Waldman ’10 continues as she applies in the regular decision round, following her rejection from Stanford University’s early action round over winter break. “Once I finished the application, [the decision] was in their hands. I had already done my part, and I was just waiting for them to reciprocate and do their part,” Waldman said. She said that she “actually wasn’t too sad” after receiving the decision, mostly because of the support of her friends and family. Still, Waldman said,“It was nice to be out of the Andover setting [for the decision] because sometimes that’s a little chaotic. I was at home so it wasn’t too bad.” One of the downsides of not receiving an early acceptance is that Waldman then had to complete more applications for other schools over break, she said. “The application process and everything these days are really hard. It’s a really intimidating process. You’re up against thousands of really qualified people and you never know what’s going to happen,” she said. Of her list of colleges, Vanderbilt University and Georgetown University are particularly appealing to Waldman. Waldman said she believes that Vanderbilt displays strength in both academics and extracurricular activities. She said that attending a college that offers established sports programs, either club or interscholastic, is important to her. Waldman is also enticed by Vanderbilt’s urban setting in Nashville, Tennessee. “It’s really a great city to be in,” she said, and added that the warm weather is an additional bonus. Besides visiting the campus and attending an information session about the school, Waldman said that she had spoken with alumni from the school, who helped her get to know Vanderbilt better. Georgetown, another one of Waldman’s top choices, appeals to Waldman partly because her father attended the school. “My dad went there, so I’ve been thinking about [attending] ever since I was little. He always talked about it and how he loved the setting of Washington D.C.,” she said. Waldman specifically sought colleges with student populations larger than that of Andover. “A thousand kids [at Andover] was good, but now I want something bigger,” she said. “I think I like to be in places where there’s more of a city and a lot going on. That appeals to me,” she continued. Waldman said that she is still interested in pursuing marine biology in college, alongside Spanish, so an emphasis on these programs is a selling point for her. Her list of colleges includes Boston University, Dartmouth College, Emory University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Harvard University, the University of Miami, Princeton University, the University of Southern California, Tulane University, Tufts University and Vanderbilt University. “All these schools are great schools, so it’s hard to choose,” she said. Waldman learned that it was helpful to start her applications early, and that finishing the Common Application forms early was a good decision. After college, whichever one she attends, Waldman hopes to attend graduate school and earn a doctorate. “Depending on what I go to grad school for, I want my job to involve traveling, using my Spanish, and also my love of biology,” she said, although she admitted that does not yet have any specific job in sight.