So, Where Am I Applying? Please Don't Ask.
Our high school columnist reports back from the depths of the college application process.
The keys of the keyboard leave a distinct pattern of squares across my forehead. A sense of confusion washes over me. Where am I? What am I doing? I glance down to find my hand still attached to the mouse pad on my laptop. The white and red colors of the common application website blind my barely open eyes. Not again.
This scene is all too common around my household nowadays. My mom, at least, applauds. If I’m going to be falling asleep while online, better it be from attempting something educational rather than dozing off halfway through a Facebook stalking session.
I won’t sugarcoat it for you all—the college application process involves many late nights, sweat and tears (if not blood.) But as much as it is exhausting, it is also exciting. This is our future we’re applying for.
Writing the essays, I’ll admit, I’m partly trying to brainwash myself into truly believing the ideas I’ve set down. But then again, those essays are quite persuasive. Grasping your future in one hand and Kleenex in the other, it’s a lot of pressure. A lot. And yes, Kleenex will most likely be a necessity for this process. I advise stocking up now.
I’ve had my fair share of breakdowns so far. Between school, work, homework, activities, scribbling in time for a bite to eat and sacrificing a few hours to hit the hay, where is the time for the most important task of all, college applications?
Just thinking of this stresses me out. Then again, I have a PhD in stress. Any time a teacher doesn’t schedule homework and I reward myself with an audible exhale, I might as well inhale that relief right back in. The “break” will simply replace itself with more application information to be filled out. A simple exchange, like swapping one shirt for a different size.
But I’ll let you all in on one little secret. All of you who aren’t going through the college application process right now (aka living sane lives), should know that there is one thing that’s equivalent to nails on a chalkboard for those of us who are. Or an elephant jumping off the Grand Canyon and landing straight on your foot (yes, that painful). It’s the question. One question.
“So, where are you applying?”
The answer is: We don’t know. Every day it changes. We want go to this school one day, but that school the next. We hear of some North Shore catastrophe, like someone not getting into the sorority they were rushing, and suddenly a line goes through that one on our list. Then we hear about a beautiful campus out west, and although we’ve never been there, we imagine ourselves living the perfect life. By this time, we’ve now mentally furnished the dorm room and picked out the top or bottom bunk.
So, for parents, friends of parents and other (well-meaning) adults, it bears repeating: when we know, you will. We’re not losing this much sleep just to keep this kind of news to ourselves. For those fellow sufferers and soon-to be sufferers: buy your Kleenex and get familiar with your keyboard. It will be your support system soon. Literally.