Wilkinson Headed to Harvard


Juliet Watstein, Editor in Chief

Senior Julia Wilkinson is among 895 students who were admitted under early action to the prestigious Ivy League school, Harvard University, December 12. She applied restrictive early action, meaning she could only apply early to one school. In recent years, several Wantagh students athletic success in lacrosse or wrestling helped them gain admission to Harvard. While Julia is an outstanding varsity athlete, her admission was based on academic achievement.

The Warrior: How did you feel when you were accepted based on your academics?
Wilkinson: I am beyond grateful that I was accepted. I guess I never really thought it was going to be me. But in reality, no one does and that is why I felt like I had to try. So when I opened the acceptance letter, it was very rewarding — like a validation or recognition of work that I have done up to this point. Full disclosure, I did cry for a good 20 minutes. Mainly, I was just overwhelmed with gratitude, and I know that feeling is not dissipating any time soon.
The Warrior: What do you plan on studying at Harvard?
Wilkinson: I am going in undecided because I have so many interests. My top two are broadcast journalism and law.
The Warrior: What sports do you play and how do you spend your time outside of school?
Wilkinson: I play basketball and baseball for the school team. Outside of school I also like to play soccer, lacrosse, football, and I love to surf and snowboard.
The Warrior: What is one piece of advice you would give to people applying to college?
Wilkinson: One piece of advice that I would give would be to never think that a school is out of reach. Also, to love a school for the school, and not its name. The process is overwhelming, but once you know, you just know. I felt that way about Harvard so I chose to give it all I had. I was close to not applying restrictive just due to the fact that the chances of admission are so slim. If I had done that, I would not have been granted the opportunity I am today. Likewise, I didn’t try to cater to their reputation or copy and paste lines from the “Why Harvard” section on their website. Instead, I was real. I would say that is a crucial part of any application as well. Tell your story — not one you think a specific college wants to hear.
The Warrior: What is one lesson you’ve learned during the application process?
Wilkinson: One lesson that I learned throughout the whole process is to believe in yourself. There were moments when I was writing supplementals for Harvard and I would think to myself, “Why are you even trying?” Thankfully, I had people around me who urged me to strive for what I wanted, no matter how big. I learned that it can always be you, even if you don’t initially think you fit the mold.
The Warrior: Who inspires you?
Wilkinson: My parents and my teachers inspire me most. Throughout this whole process, they showed up for me. I would stay up with my Mom and Dad and nit-pick over one singular sentence for hours. Mrs. Lopera took the time to explain to me how one word would come across different from another. Mrs. Prestianni and Mrs. Malafis were bombarded with Google Doc messages at 2:54 AM notifying them that I made changes to an essay. Mrs. Naughton wrote me a beautiful recommendation letter in one day’s notice because we realized I needed another one. Mr. Ruane always was there with a smile, and of course a high-five. Most of all these people inspire me most because there was not a second they didn’t believe in me. They overwhelmed me with support, and I believe that to be a crucial reason on why I was accepted.
The Warrior: What got you through stressful times?
Wilkinson: Mint chocolate chip ice cream. The amount of ice cream I went through while applying was absurd!