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Smothering the urge to throw questionably textured fruits


Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Emma Li, Co Editor-in-Chief

So I started this column because I knew I’d always have something to say about the college process. It can be long and rough for those applying to multiple schools with multiple essays, and it gets tiring. I remember looking for an admissions officer to contact, and his profile page online said to “trust the process.” But what about the times where it doesn’t work out? We all know there are people who force themselves to do things that aren’t good for them because of outside pressures, whether they come from the inside or you hear it coming from your own mouth. Or maybe you get to a school like UPenn and you think it’s working out, until you realize it has the highest rates of depression in the country. Or you get rejected from the school of your dreams. Or you wonder if you locked yourself in too soon. 

While applying to college, there’ll be times that you doubt. As someone who generally clearly knows what she wants, I doubt too. The people around me doubt because they’re capable of greatness and even though they’re winning the numbers game in the average sized pond at PCH, they might not if they went to Ladue or some Ivy League prep school that costs thousands of dollars in tuition. Or maybe they are perfect, but the school only accepts a certain number of people a year, and qualified candidates get randomly passed over.

And there’s also the little things. I’ve read my essays so many times that I hate them, even though I know they’re objectively decent, and I know I followed the formula and my own style to the balance they’re looking for. I worry that I accidentally checked the wrong button on the Common App to say that I did commit a federal crime because it was 10 p.m., and my eyes were glazing over. There’s scholarship deadlines I missed, and I don’t check my spam folder or application portals on a regular basis. I open mail from the schools I’ve applied to and it’s the same generic stuff I’ve been getting since tenth grade. 

I do make jokes here about how college applications are suffering and it’s just playing the system, but it isn’t always fruit puns and well balanced spreadsheets. 

But when it does get long and tiring and you see people around you just picking their schools because they already got their decisions, patience has never been more important. Four years is an eternity in high school, and it’s going to be an eternity and a half if you’re paying to live there and you don’t like it. I promise there will be really good moments when you get into a school you can afford, or a school with the major of your dreams, or a school that shows that your work has paid off and you know you have the option to go there to earn the future you deserve and have worked so hard for. So hold onto that, because it’s not over yet.

0 essays. 1 portfolio. 0 schools left to apply for. 71 days until April 1, and by then I’ll just have to make a choice. No big deal.