I've run a few marathons in my day (back when the Earth's tectonic plates were still trying to decide where to settle). In thinking about the college admissions process, a lot of similarities emerge between the search, application, final decision, and financial aid processes and a marathon. There's a lot of preparation involved, you should have a support squad, and writing the actual applications (with all their (sometimes dumb) essays, supplements, and related interviews) takes true endurance.

Finally, though, after that last application has been sent, it's like making the turn onto Boylston Street in Boston and seeing that big wonderful time clock ticking away directly over the finish line. Just a few more hundred yards! At last!

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