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Image from Pexels

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.

Salvete! Nomine est Shivani. Sum commotus de illi nuntii, et sepro te adhospitareque iuvare ut ille annum terrificum proficiat. Sempre memini te praestare, utque debeas et capere diem et carpere diem.

Translation: Hi! I’m Shivani. I’m really excited about this blog, and I hope to entertain you and help you as this terri…fying? ic? (I guess it depends on your current viewpoint and/or century of birth) year progresses. Always remember that you’re awesome, and that you should both seize the day and pluck the day.

Translation of the translation: Considering the fact that neither of us has yet applied to college, perhaps I won’t be able to give you too much advice. At the very least I hope you will find some consolation in my posts as I stumble somewhat blindly and you hopefully less blindly through the college application process.

Lucky for us, there are people who have survived this ordeal. I’ve heard stories about college admissions. Staying up for hours completing essays, starting your essays the day they are due, Common App crashing, teacher recs not making it in time, etc. And don’t get me started on the rumors of college admissions. It’s all so overwhelming to me, especially since we’ve been working towards college for 12 years of our lives, even if we didn’t know it for the first 8. I know it will be tempting to lose confidence in myself or the will to just keep writing. So my advice to myself and to you: don’t procrastinate too much (I had to qualify “don’t procrastinate” because I know myself), don’t give yourself time for regrets, take breaks, and keep fishing for advice.

About plucking the day: In the first book of the Odes, the Latin poet Horace’s collection of poems, Horace urges readers to “carpe diem”. Carpere is a Latin verb that means to “pluck, pick, or gather”, as you might do to ripe fruit. Although this expression is supposed to metaphorically urge people to enjoy the plentiful opportunities that a day brings, popular culture today uses carpe diem as a call to action, to emerge triumphant after a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.
This is our last year of high school. You can do so much to leave behind a legacy at your school or your first life and graduate with a sense of satisfaction. If you haven’t found your niche yet, keep looking! If you have, keep working to achieve those goals. Senior year can be your distraction from the somewhat daunting task of applying to college.

So now some words about myself: I’m pretty short but I also wear large glasses so I don’t miss out on many opportunities. I’m a huge Science Olympiad geek, but I also love violin. I’m also very introverted, but leading SciOly and other initiatives at my high school, and participating in research has forced me to become more open and (I hope) approachable. Oh and I really like Latin, as you probably noticed, though sometimes I feel awkward because though I’ve excelled in Latin at school I’ve never learned to speak Hindi or Gujarati, languages of my heritage.

Other topics I enjoy thinking about include Science Olympiad, STEM outreach, science (mostly physics) education, Latin grammar and poetry, the drawbacks and advantages of contemporary violinists, classical music, stuff we read in AP English, and how much I love a cappella. I like telling people about SciOly anecdotes and asking them how we can improve the team next year. Though I may seem a bit picky when it comes to music I’m actually not. I love all kinds of music–contemporary, pop, jazz, klezmer, calypso. It really depends on my mood.

One of my largest struggles right now is balancing SciOly, academics, and violin. I really need to get my GPA up if I want to be “in the range” of my target schools. But I’ve been so distracted and excited by (as captain) planning ahead for SciOly and other STEM initiatives at my school next year. I’ve also been neglecting my violin waaay too much, which is pretty bad considering I need to produce some quality recordings for college auditions. In other words, I’m worried that I won’t be able to finish junior year strong enough to make myself look good on college apps. I’m trying hard to prioritize as little as possible, so as to give each of my activities the quality time they deserve, but there is a limited number of activities a single person can handle at once.

I can’t stand it when people say, “You can’t do everything.” You actually can do everything, you just won’t be the best at everything. This has bothered me for awhile. If I try, shouldn’t I be able to achieve the best results? I’m learning everyday that the world doesn’t work like that. At least if I try my hardest, I’ll know I couldn’t have done better.

Well that’s pretty much the extent of my college app journey so far. I tried to look into the differences between all the decisions and actions to make a plan for when I am going to apply to colleges throughout next year, but I just got confused, so that’ll be my topic next time. I also have been advised to make a spreadsheet of colleges and their characteristics, which I should get working on*. Finally, I should start planning college visits to be sure of my choices to apply to certain ones.

*You know that rule about how you’re not supposed to end sentences with a preposition? Well that rules doesn’t exist in Latin. Also, English grammar is actually Latin grammar superimposed onto this weird, hybrid language of evolutionized German and Renaissance Latin. Thus, I have a lot more respect for Latin, a language that is pure and logical. For that reason, and also because this is not a college essay, I am going to let my preposition hang if it wants to (it does). Sorry I always feel the need to justify my hanging prepositions.

Anyway, I hope this has engaged your mind for some 10-15 minutes. If you have any questions, comments, or other urges to talk to me you can email me using the email below.

Signing off for now!

Want to get in touch with Shivani? Email, and she’ll write you back ASAP!

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