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.
“Look at you, taking all the cords and stoles right off the table. Talk about graduation swole!” said the photographer as I posed for my cap and gown pictures. When he first said it, I chuckled and reflected on all the sanity lost during these past three and a half years. Sleepless nights writing English essays, countless hours studying for that one statistics test that will make or break my A–even giving up weekends in order to sacrifice time to work on things for various clubs and organizations. I have to admit, high school has been an uphill battle (10 points for you if “The Climb” started playing in your head). More times than not, I wish I could have done things a different way or managed my time better.
As I thought back on the past couple months of senior year, I couldn’t help regret certain decisions I made. I know it’s never a great idea to beat myself up for the past because the past is behind me, and all I can really do is move ahead. But in order to remain optimistic about the future, I need to get things off my chest, once and for all.
Little Digits Known as Weight
While the numbers on the weighing scale have never meant much to me, I can’t help but feel a tiny bit uncomfortable when it comes to weight. The summer before senior year began, I committed myself to remaining active throughout senior year, as to avoid the deadly Freshman 15. In fact, I even made a resolution to complete a 10K before going off to college. Almost 7 months later and here I am–10 pounds heavier and with fewer than 5 different pairs of jeans that actually fit me (fun fact: I ripped my best pair of jeans when I scraped my knee a few weeks ago, so now my two “best” pairs of jeans either have acrylic paint on them or have “fashionable” holes in them). If I could go back in time, I wish I would have spent more time being myself and attending to my needs. I wish I didn’t turn to food when I felt overwhelmed and stressed because of how much I had to juggle.
Because I spend so much time involved with school related things, I’ve had to compromise on pleasures like running or even making fruit and veggie smoothies. I wish that for once in my life, I could have put myself before other people and other circumstances. While gaining a few pounds here and there is completely fine and totally normal, I should’ve taken care of myself because the Freshman 15 just turned into my Senior 17.
TLDR; Eating a tub of Ben & Jerry’s after turning in that 18 page research paper is totally okay. Eating a tub after submitting your daily physics homework is not.
“Miss, Why Are We Still Doing Things?”
“Nothing matters during second semester! You’ve already been accepted and it’s not like they can take your acceptance away from you!” We all have that mindset drilled into our brains. It seems like senioritis is the ultimate excuse for not doing anything during senior year. While I am guilty of falling hard for this trap, I’ve realized just how unfair it is. Look at the people around you, your educators and peers alike. Do you honestly think your teacher wants to be teaching a classroom full of half-asleep, half-Flappy-Bird-raging students? Well, of course not!
More than anything, teachers know what it’s like to so desperately want to escape the realms of high school. They’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands, of other students who have gone through the exact same woes as I do now. They realize that I’ve probably already tuned out their lectures, but to skip class everyday and pretend like learning is the worst thing in the world is definitely such a disappointment to teachers. Not caring about that government quiz or bio lab due tomorrow may be my main motto, but when it comes down to it, yolo-ing senior year–especially second semester–is completely unfair and undeserving to teachers who are passionate about educating others. It’s impossible to not feel burned out, but one thing that I’ve been enlightened on is that a burn out doesn’t equate to being irresponsible and completely blowing off a class because I can. If I’ve made it past seven semesters of high school, surely I can end these last months on a positive and memorable note.
The Ultimate Limbo: You’re Applying to What? Where? Why? HOW?!
One of the greatest regrets I truly resent is how I’ve handled the college application process so far. Sure, at first glance, it may seem like I’ve done all the typical things every high school student does– apply to matches, safeties, and dream schools. Add honestly speaking to your parents about college plans to that list, and everything fits perfectly, right? Well… not exactly.
See, what I ended up doing was applying to places without much of an opinion for my parents. I figured, “Hey, well they know how hard I’ve worked throughout all of high school to get where I’m at, so they surely must understand my plans for college and what not.”
Turns out, I was dead wrong. Think applying to colleges consists of only sending in SAT/ACT scores, along with your application and supplementary essays? Spoiler alert: You, my friend, have been lied to. There’s still the supplementary information regarding financial aid, FAFSA, the CSS Profile, and much more, not to mention the fact that you have to pay for all of this.
Because I was the first in my family to apply to private universities, everything about the college application process was completely new to me. If you would’ve asked me what the Common App was exactly a year ago, I would’ve just given you a very confused, “da heck’s she talking about” look. Had my parents known that I had plans outside of simply applying within the UT system, maybe things could be much better now. Scratch that, they’d definitely be better by a landslide. While I don’t completely believe in pointing fingers at each other, had I known just how incredibly tedious the college application process really is, I would have never asked to do any of this on my own. I wouldn’t have avoided asking my parents for help simply based on the assumption that they didn’t understand.
I know everyone says that they wouldn’t change a thing in the past because it wouldn’t lead them to where they are today, but to be frank with y’all, if I could go back in time, I would in a heartbeat. Maybe the future won’t be exactly as I had always envisioned it to be. Maybe I won’t end up going to “X College” because of the decisions I made today. But maybe, just maybe, everything will be alright. To quote the great Anchor & Braille, “life works out the way it should,” and though I can spend hours upon hours lamenting over what could’ve been, there’s no going back now. All I really have is to make the best of whatever time is left of senior year.
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