I remember visiting colleges my sophomore year, not knowing what I was getting myself into, and here I am in my senior year, and I still don’t know what I’m getting myself into.
It is finally that time, applications are in, I am patiently (not really) waiting for my acceptance/rejection letters. I’ve been doing the college search since my sophomore year and I feel like I’ve been waiting for this forever. The idea of choosing a major is difficult process. I had my heart set on a major that I was passionate about, but I had to take a step back and look at the reality of life. I had to choose an area that would not only be good for me in the long run, but would also nourish the creative passion I have.
Applying was a long and dreadful process, coming up with a topic to write the essay on and actually writing the essay and other supplements was probably the hardest part for me. My least favorite question was ‘why do you want to apply to this school?’ I always felt that it was hard to put into words and not make it sound boring. I nearly had a panic attack because I realized last minute that 2 out of the 11 schools I was applying to required 2 letters of recommendation from a teacher and I only had 1. I finally got to breathe when I did find a teacher to write another letter for me in mid-October and it was finished right in time before the deadline. Now that it is over, it feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, but then reality starts to set in.
When I sent in my first application, I cried. I thought my mom would be the one to cry, but it was me. I stared at the submit button and started crying before I hit it. My mom just kind of stared at me like I was crazy and asked me why I was crying. After I submitted it, I felt the reality set in. It felt like mini me in my head was running around and screaming. All of my emotions were coming out all at once, I was frustrated, overwhelmed and nervous. I was scared of the outcome, after that moment I questioned whether I wanted to go to college or not. I didn’t feel that I would fit in anywhere, and that I am too attached to my parents and I don’t want to leave them.
I’m sure that anyone would be scared to move away from their family. Our parents have been with us through everything and are always there for us to fall back on. It's a scary thought to think that in college we have to do everything on our own. Our parents aren’t going to be there when we’re sick and need comfort, or when they can see that we are not doing so well in a class and are constantly on us about it. We must look at the other side of this and see that this is what they prepared us for, this is what we know and what we will now do on our own. We can get through it.
The longest I’ve spent away from my family was five days at a summer camp called Days in the Arts (DARTS) when I was 12. Spending the next four years away from my family, possibly in another state, terrifies me. I feel like I need my parents for everything, and I’m sure that might be the same for others too. It’s scary to think that I’ll be away from my home, where I’ve met some really cool people and created great memories, but then I have to remember that I will still meet some super cool people and create more memories.
Although I was afraid to be away from my family during summer camp, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I made a lot of friends while I was there, and I enjoyed myself. I came out of my comfort zone and I took a theatre workshop and I performed in front of my campmates. Yes, I did miss my family, but the community feel of the camp made me feel more comfortable and I was able to get through the week. I will keep this in mind as the time approaches for me to make that transition into college.
I do like being alone, but I don’t like being lonely and I’m not that great at making friends either. It takes me awhile to get comfortable in different surroundings and really open up. A change in scenery will really put me to the test and force me to be a lot more social than I am now. With the liberal arts schools that I applied to, I believe that I will get comfortable easily because of the sense of family I felt while visiting the campuses. The students and faculty made it clear that they loved where they were and were all very welcoming.
I hope that other students in my position too, will see that they should not be afraid of this transition. This next chapter that is inevitably coming, will shape who we are bound to become. We want to be happy with whatever we do in life, and we will strive to whatever that is. We want to become our own person.
The college experience will only be as good as we make it, which means we have to embrace it 110%. Be involved. If our involvement in high school was not how we thought it would be, make it count in college. Let’s not be the person who doesn’t ask for help in class, and let’s be the person that takes advantage of the resources that we are given in college. We must push ourselves to really get out of our comfort zones and break out of the “high school” us.
Let us prove to our parents and to everyone else that we can do this, all the nagging and pestering was not going in one ear and out the other. All the hard work our parents put into us, left a mark on us and we shall continue to thrive.