THE BLOG
04/21/2014 10:49 am ET Updated Jun 21, 2014

It's Been a Roller Coaster of a Ride

This is part of our monthly series 'Mission: Accepted,' in partnership with Minds Matter, which chronicles the lives of four students as they apply for college in their senior year.

Yes! I can finally hear the ice cream truck song being amplified through the streets: Spring has finally come. Meanwhile, I hit "submit" for my TAP application. I am now finished with my financial aid forms. After faxing, scanning, and emailing what seems like hundreds of pages of financial documents and waivers to colleges, I checked off every input box on my spreadsheet for colleges and went to bed feeling satisfied.

Now that I'm no longer rampaging through colleges websites or freaking out over various deadlines, I can finally focus more of my time on understanding calculus and organic chemistry (especially the latter), reading more, studying for my impending AP exams, applying for scholarships and enjoying the last three months of senior year.

There's a general stereotype that second term seniors are lethargic and have lost their motivation -- their inner-fire. Fortunately, this is not completely true. Many of my peers and I do feel burnt out from all the college applications, financial aid forms, classes, clubs, and sports that we've had to juggle this year. We're excited to learn and make a difference in the world, but we're also trying to satisfy the expectations of the people around us and still be teenagers. Senioritis is creeping around the corner, but it has not taken me whole yet. I literally feel the weight of applications and interviews being lifted off my shoulders, as my backpack isn't crazily stuffed with textbooks and study guides anymore! Yet, I also want to invest energy in my classes and end on a good note.

On March 15, I received an email that said I was accepted into Macaulay Honors at City College of New York! Macaulay Honors College is a special program that offers a full tuition scholarship (if you are a New York State resident), a Cultural Passport giving you free or reduced access to more than 100 museums and cultural institutions in New York City, a free Apple notebook computer, and an opportunity grant of $7,500 for study abroad, internships and/or research projects of your own choosing. It also offers honors courses at each college. It's a blessing for my mother, my mentors, and I to know that I have the option of not paying hefty college tuition. I'm also excited to see the decisions from private colleges at the end of the March, although my three main factors in choosing which college I go to are still financial aid, academics and location.

Looking back at senior year in retrospect, it was an emotional roller coaster where I almost lost all my motivation. In December, I was so worked up with not being accepted to my top choice school, Columbia, through QuestBridge, while seeing a number of my peers get accepted through early decision to their dream schools. Four months later, I'm a lot calmer knowing that I have some other great colleges that give good financial aid options, like Macaulay Honors at City College. I can't wait to get news from the rest of my colleges and plan out my summer.

The next big problem is: What do I do this summer? I've wanted to help out in a lab or do an internship, but I'm also not sure if I need a job. Do you have any suggestions?

And now, here's a fun pun that a friend told me:

What does the little pebble wish it were?

A little boulder (bolder!)