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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 2014 to June 2015!). 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.

I’m a worrier. Not a warrior, but a worrier. Even if we lived in a utopia, I’d worry about something silly like accidently bending paper clips the wrong way. Yes, it’s that sad.

This year has given me a lot to worry about. From applications of all sorts to how to pay for college, I’ve been so focused on the future that I’ve forgotten to appreciate the present. The first of the lasts have already passed me by. Now things are ending for good and I don’t know how to feel.

When the year started, I thought I’d get to the end, take my diploma, and never look back. I’m not sure if that’s what’s going to happen. I’ve been with some of my classmates since third grade. It’s strange to think I might never see some of them again. Even stranger is the thought of them growing up, getting married, getting jobs, and having children. Those seem like such adult things to do, and even though I’m on the cusp of adulthood, I still feel very much like a child.

But I don’t often think that far ahead. Even now, with pleasant events looming in the near future (yay, graduation!), I’m still majorly focused just on college. AP testing and class ranking battles take a backseat to questions about life after high school. It feels like the first day of kindergarten all over again. Will I fit in? What if the dining hall serves bad pizza? Can I really manage my finances all by myself without going bankrupt? What if my roommate and I don’t get along? Well, maybe it’s not entirely like kindergarten, but you know what I mean.

There are a few more specific fears I have. What if I can’t keep up with the fast pace of New York City? Perhaps I’ll tire of the concrete jungle. It’s recently occurred to me that there are about three trees total there. In stark contrast, Georgia is practically a forest. I’m not an outdoorsy person, but I do like to admire nature. What if I have a previously unidentified Southern accent? I don’t like Southern accents, plain and simple. How am I supposed to live in a place where the temperature regularly dips below freezing in the winter? Snow and I don’t get along. College will be a culture shock in more ways than one, and I’m a little nervous.

Speaking of culture shocks, my class is amazing, and I haven’t even formally met anyone yet. It’s a little intimidating to know I’ll soon be surrounded by people who know five languages, are nationally ranked athletes, or are artists who could illustrate your wildest dreams. I keep myself in check by remembering that it’s a game of give and take. As I learn from others, I’m also teaching.  While they teach me multivariable calculus, I might be teaching them how to make grits, but it’s okay. In all seriousness, I can’t wait to be around such a vibrant and passionate group of women. I’m inspired just thinking about it.

While some things paralyze me with terror, others fill me with pure excitement.  Accessible public transportation. Broadway shows whenever my heart desires. More museums than I could ever hope to visit. Insomnia cookies. Glancing outside my window and knowing –feeling — that I’m apart of something bigger than myself. It makes me tingly to think of being around so many people who have vastly different goals and thoughts and dreams. I want to be one of those people.  I’m ready for a change and I can’t wait to take on the challenge of independence.

In the meantime, I’m struggling to stay focused. Summer is close enough for me to taste its lazy days and novel filled nights. It drives away any desire to go to school at all. But whenever I think about giving up, I think about my assistant principal.

Every year, he calls the seniors to the auditorium and gives them an inspirational, two word phrase to keep motivation up during the school year. Now, when I’m staring blankly at the ceiling or through blurring eyes at a review book, I harken back to the day when we seniors were called. Still naive and untested, we bounced in our seats as we waited to hear what our class motto was. After the assembly, I clutched the slip of laminated paper close and immediately put it in my locker. Every day, I look at it and become inspired once more.

Bring it, it tells me.

It’s a promise that I have to keep. Even though the end of senior year can turn the a focused overachiever into an unmotivated sleepwalker, I have to fight it. I made a promise to myself to bring it.

I plan on keeping it.

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