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Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have five seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2013 to June 2014!). 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.

Hitting the ground hurts. It hurts harder still as you dream so big and fly so high, only to have the pragmatic force of gravity drag you so unceremoniously back down into the less-than-amazing reality of life. They say being a dreamer will hurt you in the end, but as it turns out, being sane and sober could have the same effect.

There hasn’t been a time in my life where I have worked harder than this past junior year. It was my coming out party into the real world of hard work and ‘the daily grind’. So to the grind I went. I pulled my first all-nighters to write essays and do projects that I cared little about, and I did it for one reason: to go to a school I could really be proud of, one that would showcase me as one of the ones who killed themselves in high school to get to a good position later. I jumped way out of my constricting bubble and joined clubs that really spoke to me not just for my own pleasure, though to say I don’t enjoy them is a falsehood, but to tell colleges, ‘this is what kind of student I will be for you.’ But day after day, the likelihood of my entrance into a big-name school dwindles.

I have been given the talk several times now, all of the advice pointing me in a direction I never thought that I’d take. “You need to be realistic.” “If med school is your goal, a good name isn’t what you need.” “Scholarships and fit are important, not really the name.” While I quickly attempt to dispel this advice, Babu again and again invades my brain space. His wagging finger tells me that their advice is sound, that they know what their talking about, that I cannot simply forget about the real world in the pursuit of a college experience. It tells me that no matter how hard I worked, I will almost certainly be doomed to the face this more realistic path. I lament the life that I haven’t lived yet, as I begin to think that the enlightened period of study that I dreamed of is not to be had.

But then a more idealistic side, one that is paradoxically more realistic as well, takes me over. It whispers words of encouragement, it tells me all is not yet lost. I begin to think that maybe their sound advice will actually lead me to a better experience after all, that maybe I was completely wrong to think that I need a good name school enjoy myself and learn as much as possible. Walking out chained to thousands of dollars in ‘big name’ debt doesn’t sound too appealing. Going to school with ostentatious, overbearing egomanics that are sure to reside in the good school arent really my crowd. Simply trying to live up to the school, when I can so easily stand out somewhere else doesn’t really calculate either. Now at this point me and Kramer are of one mind.

Maybe this is what I was meant to do after all. Yes, I did bust my hump all of last year to make my self stand out for these colleges, but it wasn’t time wasted regardless of where I end up. I learned what it meant to work to my potential. I learned how to study and digest terms like associationism and hypocondriasis with having to take Pepto-Bismol afterward. I learned what college will demand of me, and then some. I am not only a new student because of the effort I put in, but rather a new person,more confident in his ability to cope and adapt.

So in the end has anything changed? Well I’m still going to apply to most of the same places, to see what happens, but what comes after that will most likely be radically different. I have seen what will most likely become of me and it is just so different than what I pictured just a few months ago. Was my time wasted by not going out and partying with my friends, but rather taking out the dreaded vocab box and getting down 20 more words? I dont think so, but I just really hope I dont end up like this…

Until next time, y’all.

~Salib Out

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  1. Marc Jamenson on August 12, 2013

    Michael,
    Wow. What can I say, this is one hell of a piece. I read your other work, and notice such an amazing sense of perspective from such a young boy. You are a talented writer; thought provoking and interesting. I urge you to continue to blog. Med schools are tough, lets be real. Regardless, I am excited to watch where this process takes you. Great article, Mr. Salib.

    Cheers,
    Marc

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