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.
It’s taken me forever to write this post. I’ve been putting it off. Not because I’m too busy or too tired, but because I don’t know what I want to say. I don’t know how to write out what’s happened to me in the past month because I don’t really understand it myself. So, I guess I’ll start where everyone else does, the beginning.
As April drew to a close, I knew that the time was coming for me to pick a college. As a student who has practically memorized the college application and decision schedule, I very well knew that I had to pick a college by April 30. But I couldn’t decide. Somehow, someway, I had gotten into all the colleges I applied to. All ten. I was astounded and I couldn’t believe it. But over the month, one after the other, the acceptances rolled in. That was not my plan at all. I planned to get rejected by a couple of schools, like any other person, and use that to help narrow down my list to the school I wanted to go to. That was obviously not the case anymore. So, I had to choose. I started thinking about what each school would offer to me in all aspects of my college experience. In the back of my mind, I also remembered the financial aspect. Because of family issues, I had to send in my financial information to the colleges late, so I didn’t get my package when I got my acceptance letters.
With two weeks to decide, I was down to three schools: Barnard College, Tufts University, and Wellesley College. I was waiting on aid, but even then, I couldn’t decide which one of the three I wanted to go to. But one day while I was on the phone with my friend and I told her “I think I’m going to pick Barnard as my school”. However, that decision was short lived. I got the crushing news that Barnard wasn’t going to give me financial aid for my first year because I had gotten some of my forms in late. I was devastated. There was no way my parents were going to be able to pay for Barnard at full tuition, and it made no sense for them to since I had aid packages from Tufts and Wellesley. The school I had finally chosen was now unavailable to me.
After hearing that news, I realized something that I didn’t see all along. That I had always loved Barnard more than my other schools. I liked my tour there the best, I liked my interview for the school the best, I liked the students and administrators I met there the most, I liked the supplements I wrote for the school the most. When I dreamt about finally moving to college or living in a dorm or going to classes, it was always Barnard’s move in, Barnard’s dorms, and Barnard’s classes. When I imagined myself getting my first real internship or job it was in New York. Subconsciously, I had decided on Barnard a long time ago, and now I couldn’t go. But I still had to make a choice.
Instead of making a choice, I cried, a lot. I cried about all my missed opportunities and all the hints I didn’t get. I cried about how unfair life was and no one should have money problems. I cried about how stupid it was for me to cry about having to give up one great school for another great school. Then, I just cried. But I still had to make a choice. Though I didn’t want to pick a school that wasn’t Barnard, time was running out and I knew what I had to do. So one night, I closed my eyes, called my mom, and said “I’m picking Wellesley”, and that was it. I paid my deposit and went to bed that night.
I thought that I would be happy when I finally decided on where I was going to college. Over the years I had created this dream that the end of my senior year was going to be one of the best times of my life. I was going to accept the school of my dreams, go to prom, and graduate and it would all be wonderful. But when I accepted Wellesley, I didn’t feel wonderful. I felt just neutral. I couldn’t love my school and I knew why. Barnard still held an enormous place in my heart, and I couldn’t accept Wellesley until I had let Barnard go. But I couldn’t let it go. And I still haven’t let it go. But I know that one day I’ll be okay. Or even better than okay. And that the message I want to leave with you guys today. That no matter what happens, you’ll come out okay. It might not be what you wanted, but in the end it will all work out. Make the best of what you’ve given. And cry sometimes. I promise, it helps.