October and November of one’s senior year of high school generally carry a universal meaning – college applications. I can honestly say that I never realized how many times I would be required to type out my personal information (I think I’ve memorized my SS number by now), check and re-check the dates on my parents’ college diplomas, or fill out every high school class I’ve taken and look up the corresponding grades received in such a short time period. I used to think that the idea of a Common App was genius, until I realized that at least half the schools I’m applying to don’t use Common App and that I would still have to spend hours filling out forms.
After all the tedious forms I always find myself rather relieved to reach the essay section of an application. It’s the section where I can make myself stand out, where I can harness my writing abilities to show these universities who Laretta Johnson is and that despite the lower than a 4.0 GPA marring my transcripts I may be a worthy selection for their school. Being able to pull on past experiences and write about future goals is almost a therapy of sorts and it’s a process that I truly enjoy.
As I send off each application it fills me with the biggest set of mixed emotions. I’m left feeling hopeful yet possibly inadequate, excited and nervous. But most of all it leaves me caught up in the dreams of what next year holds. At 17 I feel like the possibilities are endless – what I want to study and where I want to be are completely up in the air. Yet I’m caught in a paradox because while those possibilities may be endless, they are also limited by ACT and SAT scores, my GPA and various extra curricular activities. That and the fact that my decision will have to be made in just months, a time frame I’m not entirely comfortable with.
But for now I’ll let my ambitions fuel my work ethic for the year and look forward to the freedom, independence, and excitement that my next year away will hold for me!