Maybe you’re waiting for a decision from your dream school, or maybe you’ve been rejected and are, as we speak, buying a plane ticket to Mexico to start your new life raising sheep in a rural village because you’ve given up on your other dreams. Regardless, this is a secret that you, and all high schoolers, need to hear: it doesn’t matter where you get into college.
At the very least, it’s not the most important thing in the world. In fact, I can think of a few things that are significantly more important and should distract you from the stress of not knowing (or the despair of knowing) college decisions:
1. Who’s Going to be the Next President of the United States?
It’s shaping up to be an interesting election year, to say the least. Whether you are or will be old enough to vote come November, it’s important to stay informed about the candidates and to vote if you can. (Remember, this is your opportunity to be on the other side of rejection/acceptance–wield your power responsibly.)
One could argue that the President doesn’t actually matter–because we have checks and balances in our democratic system so the President lacks any power to make real change if not supported, because all politicians are controlled by the wealthy who currently benefit from the system, because everyone’s going to die anyway. I don’t have an argument to that–you’re probably right–but at the very least, it’s far more entertaining than college decisions.
Beyoncé just released a new song (check it out here), and unsurprisingly, it #slays. And it’s not just any old song; it’s an anthem to our Queen’s roots, to Black pride, to a movement taking place across the United States. And if that doesn’t interest you, it’s mega-empowering: use it to get over that dumb school that rejected you, because it’s their loss, and the important thing is that you know you slay.
Lyrics can be found here.
Water is hard to appreciate when you live where it’s easily accessible, but it’s a necessity to life and a big issue in a ton of places. The crisis in Flint, Michigan has brought water quality into the media’s eye, but in some cities, lead levels are even worse than they are there. In the rural South, water looks disgusting. In California, the drought is threatening not only the lives of people who live there but the agricultural industry that provides much of the world with food. (You can argue that it’s the agricultural industry that is doing the threatening.) And this is just in the United States.
Instead of stressing over your college decisions, do something to help people who are wallowing over their chances of getting sick. Raise money for water filters, send bottled water, and be thankful for your access to clean water.
4. Black History Month
February is Black History Month! Read up on Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, and more, and appreciate the journey of a people who have to overcome a lot in the United States. For a few articles, you can go here. (For more, you can clearly Google it.) As a math major and a woman, I’d like to give a special plug to Euphemia Hayes, first African-American woman to earn a PhD in mathematics.
5. Zika Virus
If you haven’t heard, the Zika virus–which has been linked to birth defects–has been spreading through South America. Here is a really comprehensive overview from Vox. Don’t be scared; just be aware that this is happening in the world.
6. Fuller House
Fuller House is coming to Netflix on February 26. How can anything else possibly matter?
7. Support Systems
Honestly, none of the previous things matter nearly as much as this: Your friends, family, and all of us at TP are behind you 100% of the way. Whether you get into the college of your dreams or not–whether you get into college at all or not–the presence of a support system is important. You are worth more than any college that could accept you, and you are not defined by their decision.