08/29/2012 09:06 am ET Updated Oct 29, 2012

Summer Is Not For Slackers

My junior year is finally over.

After nine months of studying hard to prepare for the ACT while at the same time struggling to get the best grades possible, my junior year is done. In a way, I am sad. I know that this will be the last year that I will be hanging out with a lot of my friends and be essentially "without responsibilities." Even more than being sad, I am scared. I'm scared that when I leave, I won't be surrounded by people guiding me and telling me what to do. I'm scared I will get lost along the way. However, I do take comfort in having seen many people before me make the transition to college and be successful.

With the end of my junior year comes the end of trying to build the perfect resume. The last grades that really matter have already been printed on my transcript. Even though there's one more chance to try and improve my ACT score, I can't imagine going through the pain of having to study for that test again.

I've spent much of the summer playing water polo and going to water polo camps. Some of my friends already know what schools they're going to, or at least have a list of schools that are interested in them. As for me getting recruited for water polo, I can only hope that one day some coach will wake up and decide they need a goalie that is too short and too small to be world-class but has a strong work ethic.

While I wait and hope, I teach.

Even though it is hard work, I enjoy teaching the kids at the YMCA to play water polo. Too often I think, "If I had started playing water polo earlier I would be way better." I know this isn't a very popular sport in my community and the probability of any of these kids playing in high school is low, but maybe just one of them will enjoy it and decide to join a team. If they do, then they won't have the regret that I do of wishing they'd started playing earlier.

Just thinking about having to apply to college and potentially not getting into the school of my choice is a million times scarier than when I was waiting to get my ACT scores back. Even though I know this is the bewitching hour and there's barely anything I can do that will make my favorite colleges choose me over someone else, I'm still doing everything I can. I have no idea whether a jam-packed summer of water polo, Spanish classes and an academic camp will help, but after the last three years of incredibly grueling work, cutting back now seems like the worst possible thing I could do.

So I'm putting together a list of schools I want to apply to. Every day the list gets longer because I'm afraid that I won't get into the school of my choice. As the list gets longer it creates another huge stack of papers on my desk that I have to fill out. Even though I haven't started actually applying, I know the time will come very soon and when it does, I'll be as stressed out as a bride the day before her wedding.