Not Los Angeles, but hey, it’s close enough. Image from StockSnap.

Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have several seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2015 to June 2016!). Sit back, relax, and get that “OMG I totally get you, bro” feeling. Information for how to contact a blogger will be at the bottom of his/her posts.

College decision day has finally passed and I just barely managed to make a decision at almost the very last minute.

I’m proud to say that I’m a member of the UCLA Class of 2020. I’m not going to lie, it was definitely difficult to say no to Columbia, but in the end, it’s all worked out. I absolutely love UCLA, and I’m so excited to call it home in the coming months.

It was tough picking UCLA over Columbia, but I feel like I was pretty much destined to choose UCLA over any school to be honest. When I got into Columbia, I felt proud that I was part of that 6% of applicants that got accepted. But when I got into UCLA, I just felt pure joy, like everything I worked towards in high school was finally paying off. It’s one thing to be proud of an accomplishment, but it’s another thing to be excited about something. And when it comes down to it, getting into Columbia was really just an accomplishment to be proud of ― I’m not sure that I would be completely happy at a hugely stressful environment like Columbia. But I just know that I’ll be able to find some sort of niche at UCLA where I’ll be truly happy.

My original plan was to commit to Columbia and then try transferring to UCLA if I decided I didn’t like Columbia. But then I figured that that wasn’t a really good outlook to have on the whole situation ― I shouldn’t have to put my happiness second when it comes to picking a college. I shouldn’t have to feel like risking my own happiness just to get a degree that might be considered more prestigious. And when I finally realized that, I immediately went and committed to UCLA.

I’m excited to go to LA, but it’s weird though, because in the past four years, I’ve always talked about how ready I am to leave my hometown. “It’s so boring,” I’d say, “I just want to live in a big city.” But now I can’t help but feel that despite my love for the city of Los Angeles, I’m really going to miss Sacramento. I kind of regret not doing a gap year or something, just so I could prolong my time here a little bit more.

Part of it might just be me not wanting to leave my friends, and part of it might be me being a little uncertain and wary of a future in a city over twice the size of my hometown. Regardless of my fears about the future though, I have a somewhat clearer idea of what I want to do with my future now than I did when I began my senior year, but I’m still not one hundred percent sure. I don’t need to be sure right now though.

Even though I’m a little bit apprehensive about going away, I do think it’s time. I’m so excited to be able to take classes because I legitimately think they’re interesting, not because somebody is forcing me to. I’m excited to be able to have the freedom to do what I want (within reason, of course) in a city whose possibilities are endless. Am I nervous about the responsibilities that come along with adulthood and being on my own out in “the real world” (whatever that really means)? Yes. Unquestionably yes. But I feel like my family and friends and school have all prepared me well enough to go off to Los Angeles this September and do great things with my life.

I recently finished up my final high school musical last weekend. Before the last show of the run, we always do this thing where the seniors give a little speech about our experience with high school theatre and it’s just a time for us to really reflect on the last few years. It was then that it finally hit me that high school was finally, really ending. I felt this weird combination of anxiety and sadness and excitement and bliss. I remember how everyone in the room, not just the seniors, was really emotional and it’s honestly a wonder that we all made it through the entire show without breaking down.

Anyway, I was just feeling really weird after the musical ended. I know this is a total cliché, but it really does feel like a new chapter in my life is unfolding. And I am nervous about it, but I’m also really excited.

I’m basically out of school now and it feels really weird. I have AP tests this week, and then finals are supposed to be next week, but I took all but two of my finals in April, because of AP tests. I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of my end of the year experience because I took so many AP classes. I’m definitely starting to regret it now, but I’m trying to make up for that AP testing void by making more time to hang out with friends and to really focus on my own happiness.

My time in high school is finally coming to a close and it’s pretty clear that I have a lot of regrets. But I’m also really happy about the way I’ve grown and matured through high school. Especially this year ― I’ve made so many new friends in these last three months, and while I regret not getting to know them sooner, I’m glad that I finally did get the chance to meet them.

One piece of advice I’ve been hearing lately is to “not look back.” I don’t know how much I agree with that. It’s important to look back on your past and understand how it’s shaped you and why you are the way you are. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the past lately, and it’s helped me understand myself to a much fuller extent than I possibly could if I didn’t look back.

So to all my fellow seniors, and to all the rising seniors out there, sure, we should all live in the now. But don’t forget to look back every once in a while. And do not, I repeat, do not, stress out about the future. It will work out, no matter how it seems right now. I remember being so anxious about college right around this time last year, and it’s worked out much better than I could have possibly expected. And while I’m still anxious about college, it’s a different kind of anxiety, and I’m trying my best to qualm it.

See you around, guys.

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