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.
28. 28 days is all it took for me to figure out that I’m not even close to being ready for the whole college admissions process (and college itself). During those wonderful 28 days, I was all the way in India visiting my relatives and finally away from all the hubbub of reality. While I was there, the college admissions nightmare was the last thing I even thought of. I was too busy focusing on exploring a completely different sense of identity and having fun with my cousins.
But all that fun came to a halt when I got sick. I’m going to go out on a limb here and just make it clear to y’all that I already knew I was going to catch some sort of illness there, like malaria, stomach flu, etc. However, you know what I got stuck with?
Gastritis. That’s right. Gastritis, as in inflammation of the gosh dang stomach. While I was in India, I had to room with my little brother since there was literally no space in the house. I thought this was the absolute best thing in the world because I was independent in a completely foreign area. It was almost like a pre-college experience. Sounds cool, right?
WRONG. One morning, I actually vomited all over the bathroom about 6 times. And who did I end up running to as soon as it happened? My dear and wonderful mother. She immediately went into Momma Bear mode and rushed me to the hospital to get an IV for electrolytes and medication. And suddenly, I was enlightened.
OK, enlightened may be too dramatic for this story, but in that moment, I felt like my eyes were opening up to the truth. The truth that I had so long been avoiding. While I was lying on the hospital bed, I couldn’t help but realize how quickly my “sense of independence” went down the drain. A eureka moment hit me right in the face and soon I realized that maybe I’m not ready to be alone for college. Perhaps I’m not ready to move far, far, far away from home. I know I said in my last article that I wanted to get away from Texas as soon as I could. I mean, I think about it now and I still have this craving for wanderlust. But the reality is that I’m not ready to be on my own. I’m not ready to thrust myself into adulthood by completely changing the world I live in. That hospital stay made me realize that I have my whole life ahead of me to travel around and see how everyone survives the world. Just because I can’t get out of Texas when I head off to college doesn’t mean I can never leave.
In my last article, I talked about how college is the time to experience completely different things and find yourself in the world. I still stick to that philosophy today, even after the whole gastritis/death (not even exaggerating, it was actually that bad) incident. The reason I want to leave Texas is because Texas isn’t the rest of the world. There are billions of people out there who live a completely different lifestyle than I do, and it would be an honor to even be able to experience a fifth of what they go through. If I can start that whole adventure with college, it would be incredible! But I have to be realistic about all of this. Before I throw NYU, Stanford, Northwestern, and UChicago on my list of colleges to apply to this fall, I need to ask myself serious questions. Am I ready to be on my own? Am I ready to jump head first into the real world, without being able to see my family? Am I willing to give up my whole life for college?
Thinking about the reality of college is scary, but we all must come face to face with this sucker. The college admissions process will be long, ridiculous, and extremely stressful but if you take it one step at a time and look for what you really and truly want in a realistic sense, everything will fall into place. No matter where you end up going, the college experience is all about your attitude and whether you chose to be optimistic, realistic, or pessimistic is all up to you. As a wise man once said, “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.”
And yes, that wise man was indeed Hannah Montana.
P.S. Traveling across the world made me realize just how badly I want to study abroad. To study in places like Switzerland, Turkey, or Germany would not only be one of the most rewarding opportunities in the entire world, but it would definitely fulfill this homegirl’s wanderlust.
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