Everyone on campus waved to one another and most of the students knew each other. At a big school, it would be difficult to get to know everyone in my graduating class. But Williams felt like a family.
Thousands of parents spent March biting their nails wondering if their children would be admitted to their first choice university. And now that the fat and thin envelopes have been sent, the worry isn't over.
You're starting a new adventure for one year, maybe even one semester if it really doesn't work out for you. And unlike high school, you get to blaze your own trail and do what you want with the opportunities in store. After all, isn't that what you've been waiting for?
If I had been an upper middle-class, able-bodied, U.S. born white girl with heterosexual parents, perhaps I would not dread going to my classes that are filled with bullies and racial microaggressions, and I would be able to fully concentrate on my studies.
Unlike choosing between spending two hours on painful calculus problems and watching The Vampire Diaries, this decision will be incredibly, unbelievably difficult. But wherever I go, I will be happy -- even if it's not Yale or Columbia.
To all those accusing affirmative action of "stealing their place": your privilege and sense of entitlement is what causes you to call that place "yours" to begin with. In the long run, colleges are looking for people who have real passion, real interests, and real humility.
I knew that my chances were bleak at the outset, but I found that having a challenging school as my first choice helped motivate me throughout the application process. My dream, no matter how unrealistic, pushed me to work harder to reach my goals.
Take in your college's mascot and school pride. Take in the feel and style of the campus. Take in the relationships and friendships you've built here. Take in that feeling of how right it feels to be here... because things will work out how they're supposed to. Trust me.
During this period of uncertainty, taking a break helps keep me from getting overwhelmed by the waiting. Most of the time, I read. This helps me relax and forget (for a little while) about all homework and scholarships and decision letters.
Maybe I shouldn't have joked that I wanted to be an actuary partly because I heard it was a great career for people who didn't consider themselves too social. Had I pronounced Anna Karenina right? Had I shown my love for Yale clearly enough?
I finally have time to fully enjoy high school life -- but instead of making me sad or afraid to leave, it's just making me even more excited for all of the experiences that are in my future. For now, though, I'll soak in every moment of these last few weeks while I can.
I just want to go to college already! I want to walk through the quad, make my own schedule and be freed of teenage angst. I want to listen to a lecture by a world-renowned scholar. I want to study abroad in Paris and drink café au lait. But alas, I'm still a high school senior.
The brutal process of applying and waiting for acceptances is over. Now, seniors get to decide which college's offer of admissions to accept. While many adults and students often get attached to college names, they should both realize that colleges are so much more than their names.
The seniors have dedicated so much time and effort into their high school experiences, their decisions of where to apply, and their actual applications. The waiting process naturally causes feelings of extreme doubt and stress.
There have been times when I have failed to realize the true privilege of choice. Attending college, let alone choosing between multiple colleges, is an opportunity that many teens will never experience.
One night, I snapped. In my fit of stress, I vowed to create a monster that could be programmed as the ideal college applicant: diligent, cerebral, outgoing, and, of course, very persuasive as an essayist.
I applied to four colleges and so far have gotten into three, and now it's time for me to decide. I can't help but feel that this is what it feels like to be on "The Voice" and have to make the decision about which judge to go with.
This past week, I watched people I was so sure would get into their dream schools get rejected and deferred. People who I admired got crushed by the futures they thought were so close to being achieved.