As a child, I always idealized what the college admissions process would look like for me, as I anxiously scribbled out my life's ambitions on a Hannah Montana spiral bound notebook. I dreamed of the day where I'd get my first acceptance letter, and go on to learn as much as I could about as many things possible.
However, as I got older, the fears augmented. I'm a senior now, and the college admissions process isn't exactly what I dreamt of when I was 7 years old. There's deadlines to meet, majors to choose, and oh yeah, how am I going to pay for all of this!? My mind plays tricks on me, convincing that my roommate will hate me and that my classes will be horribly boring and that each day will begin at five in the morning. To be honest, while I have many reasons to be excited for the next journey in my educational pursuits, I'm also scared to death.
I've invested hours upon hours studying for AP tests, SATs and ACTs. My peers and I willfully sacrificed our Friday night football games, school dances and field trips to academically succeed in school. Our lunches consisted of sitting in a classroom listening to another club meeting we decided to join. But is it all worth it? What if the promise of college ends up to be a disappoint, rather than a relief?
My applications have been completed, and I've received the automatic reply that it's been received. But now enters a new era, a time in-between being a) a high school student and b) a college student; a time of eagerly waiting for the thick envelope to appear in my mailbox.
In a year from now, my whole life will change. I'll be a legal adult, which qualifies me to enter the sphere of jury duty, voting and purchasing liquid White-Out. My dorm might be in Paris, Los Angeles or Chicago. I'll be doing my own laundry, cooking my own food (Top Ramen and instant mashed potatoes) and paying for things on my own. I'll meet entirely new people and say goodbye to others. I'll continue to find out what I like, what I don't like and most of all, what I love. I can't even begin to imagine it, because it'll be nothing like I've ever experienced before.
Paradoxically, isn't that the joy of life also? I want to experience joy and heartbreak and first times and new adventures. I want to fill my scrapbook with people I love, places I went and things I did. I want to live fully, sucking up every bit of life that I'm given. I want to fail, I want to fall and I want to have every bit of me challenged to think about bigger concepts and to work even harder at turning my crazy dreams of mine into a reality.
College freaks me out, but you know what scares me more? The thought of living a life inside a comfort zone, content with the mundane musings of everyday life and fattened by the console and affluence of material life. It's a big, bright and beautiful world, and I think it's finally time for me to walk in it with the confidence that this time, I'll be doing it right.
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