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. Information for how to contact a blogger will be at the bottom of his/her posts.
There are approximately 88 days, 20 hours, and 28 minutes until graduation. That’s right y’all–the countdown has begun. As much as I love high school (yes, even when those treacherous nights where jumping off a cliff seemed like a better option than going to school), I’m ready to move on and start a new phase of my life, a phase that I have literally been dreaming of since Rory went off to Yale in Gilmore Girls. But as much as I’d love to soak in all the college-ness of life, I’m not at all ready–not mentally, physically, or emotionally.
The strangest thing about being stuck in this high-school-student-but-really-also-sorta-kinda-a-college-student-already limbo is that I really just don’t know how to feel. Am I supposed to be feeling melancholic and nostalgic when I reminisce about the past 4 years of high school? Am I supposed to be super stoked for college, regardless of where I end up at? Or am I supposed to be smack dab in the middle of it all, unsure about how to feel about anything. I suppose part of the issue (super over dramatized way of wording these emotions but c’man, it’s me we’re talking about here) is that these feelings are vastly different than pretty much anything I’ve ever experienced.
One of the most surreal perks of being a second semester senior is knowing that you’re literally so close to the finish line that you feel unstoppable. As it is, prom, homecoming, senior skip day, and graduation day are just one weekend after another, leaving me with no time to really stop and think about how fast time is moving. First semester has slipped through my fingers so quickly that I never really had a moment to appreciate how fantastic it was. One thing I’m incredibly grateful for, hands down, is the fact that senior year has basically been the year of “YOLO-LAST-YEAR-HERE-SO-I-DON’T-REALLY-CARE-WHAT-I-DO-NOW!” Don’t get me wrong, this free-spirited state of mind hasn’t equated to any nights of sneaking out and partying or whatnot; this sense of freedom has allowed me to take reign of what, for the most part, happens in my life. I’m allowed to dictate what goes on in my life. For the first time in forever (yes, Frozen is still incredibly relevant in my heart), I feel like I have control over what happens on a daily basis.
Yet, despite all this self-titled empowerment, there’s still mountains upon mountains of obstacles standing in the way to college. More importantly, there’s the waiting game. Virtually all feelings of distress and anxiety stem from waiting for my admissions status from countless colleges (I’m looking at you, Northwestern, Wellesley, and Emory). It seems like April 1st can’t come any sooner, and to be honest, I really have no idea how I’m going to handle any of the decisions. I know I should feel ready to accept the fact that I’m most likely going to be rejected from my “dream schools”–I mean, let’s be honest here, an incredibly well written essay can only take you so far–but the fact of the matter is, I can’t fathom that happening. Call it cocky, pompous, or pretentious–take your pick. It’s just so difficult to come to terms with the fact that my dream schools, the ones I’ve dreamt about since basically forever, don’t want me. Maybe it’s just my perfectionist/optimistic mindset that’s really controlling my emotions here; or maybe it’s just my subconscious telling me that I’m a hella rad applicant who deserves to go to “X-College.” The truth is beyond me.
Okay okay, let’s take a complete 360 from this discussion in to a much brighter and happier light. A few days ago, I had an interview at Baylor College of Medicine for a BS/MD program. Although I felt (for the most part) comfortable around the other interviewees present, I couldn’t help but feel out of my zone when everyone else spoke about how they were 100% sure they’d enter neurology or some other specialty. I mean, I’m a 17 year old girl who can’t even decide whether or not to wear polka dotted or neon yellow socks, let alone what it is that I want to do for the rest of my life. As I was waiting for my interview, Alex, a third year medical school student, came up to me and said “I’m glad you don’t know what you want to go into. As a teen, you really shouldn’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life. I’m starting my residency soon and even I’m not sure what I want to specialize in! You’ve got a long road ahead of yourself, so don’t be committed to anything just yet.”
I took that advice with open arms and really pondered about what he had just said. For the next few days, I really couldn’t get those words to stop resonating in my mind. And quite honestly, he’s right–remaining completely committed to something without being able to experience what else is out there isn’t doing myself any justice. I think that goes for everyone, really. It’s completely A-OK if you have no idea what you want to do. It’s completely A-OK if you can’t envision your future just yet. Life’s an incredibly strange adventure and I don’t want to miss out on anything just yet.
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