Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

So I decided to come up with a ridiculous metaphor: applying to college is a lot like shaking a carton of high pulp orange juice. Before you scroll on by, humor me and at least read what I have to say.

1. Those Who Shake Poorly.

Some people are way too eager to drink their orange juice, and they don’t have the patience to shake their carton enough. They end up with imperfect consistency; sometimes they don’t have enough pulp, and other times, they have too much. But more often than not, they find themselves with an unsatisfactory glass of orange juice.

Keep in mind that the next four years of your life (and the following years affected by your college career) will be determined by the few months you spend on your applications. My philosophy teacher would always say that luck is simply “when preparation meets opportunity”. Many months from now, you will discover that a good number of your fellow peers will be unexpectedly accepted to and denied from certain colleges. You may think that they were either extremely lucky or unlucky. But be wary that the amount of preparation they put in may play a huge factor.

2. Those Who Shake Too Much.

Sometimes, in an overzealous attempt to achieve the perfect pulp concentration, people shake the carton way too vigorously. They end up with juice frothing with bubbles, ultimately ruining their drinking experience. And in extreme cases of absolute disaster, the entire carton slips out of their hands and crashes onto the floor.

It is vital that you effectively plan out your college application process. But keep in mind that you should not be planning your college application process too strictly. I can guarantee that you will acquire new information that will change your perspective on a certain college, or the overall college process in general. Always be open to new ideas and opinions.

3. Those Who Don’t Shake at All.

Of course, there are always those who refuse to read the directions and decide not to shake their juice before drinking. All of a sudden, before they know it, they’re choking on a glass filled with way too much pulp.

What’s that phrase you kids like to use nowadays…“YOLO”?

Yeah. Don’t be that guy.

4. Those Who Chug versus Those Who Sip.

Some people enjoy chugging their orange juice. They already have a full plate, and need to finish one item at a time. Others, however, would rather sip their orange juice throughout their meal, and are able to easily balance everything on their plate.

Some students prefer to get their college applications out of the way as early as possible, or leave it until the last moment before the deadline (or after the deadline, if you live on the edge). However, I would suggest that it is generally wiser to space out your applications. It is the most efficient way to ensure that your applications are free of errors. Checking over your work every now and then can only improve your overall product. Sometimes, when you chug a whole cup of orange juice, you end up spilling it all over yourself. You don’t want that.

5. Those Who Don’t Drink Orange Juice.

There are also people who don’t enjoy pulp in their orange juice. Or those who don’t enjoy orange juice at all. And then there are people who really want to drink orange juice, but simply cannot afford it. Confession: Orange juice is actually very expensive, and I only drink it when my local grocery store sends me coupons. Realize that just because orange is the most popular choice of liquefied fruit, it does not mean that you have to follow the crowd and drink it as well. It’s not Kool-Aid.

Likewise, college isn’t for everyone. There are many alternative forms of education, and even more alternative modes to success, just like how there are a million types of different fruit juices out there. And unfortunately, it’s not always a choice. In our current society, a college education is not an option that everyone has the luxury of selecting. I wouldn’t be in college at all if it weren’t for financial aid. Never, ever let the college application process define you (or another) as a person. It is ultimately up to you to choose your destination. To some, college is simply a path they decide to take.

It’s already September. Determine for yourself how you are going to handle the huge carton of orange juice (or the lack thereof) sitting in front of you.

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