College Applications: That Burden You Just Can’t Shake

I sit down on the couch, prop my feet on the coffee table in front of me, and reach my hand into an oversized bowl of warm, buttery popcorn. Turning on Netflix, I select an excellent episode of Gilmore Girls (all episodes are exemplary, so this is basically a given) and enjoy the carefree feeling of having no homework or tests to study for. As Rory receives her Harvard letter in the mail, I abruptly stop the show.

I completely forgot.

No, I did not forget to submit my Harvard application. I forgot to type until my fingertips bled. I forgot to search my brain for answers to questions I have nothing to say to. I forgot to work on the supplements I promised my mom I would have finished weeks ago. But really, I forgot that I am never done with homework because there is always an application that needs to be done.

Welcome to the college process. It is grueling, boring, and exhausting. You will need coffee, Red Bull, and 5-Hour Energy. You will not get sleep, satisfaction, and free-time. You will want acceptance, closure, and graduation. The imaginary weight you used to feel when all boxes on iNewman were marked as completed is no longer lifted off your shoulders. Instead it gets heavier and heavier and heavier until you are suffocating under a pile of papers asking you Why do you want to attend this university? What makes you a leader? How have you had a positive impact on your community? But you can’t just answer, respectively, I don’t know. Nothing. and I haven’t.

You must hunch over your computer screen, which is certainly burning your eyes after all this time in front of it, and complete the grueling task of writing supplements.  You dig into the deepest, darkest parts of your mind to evaluate yourself from all angles and find a way to accurately represent yourself on these pieces of paper. Then, suddenly, you are rethinking your life, your choices, your path. It is beginning to seem like a better idea not to go to college at all, but instead to take a 365 day solo hike into a desolate nature area and find yourself. Then you get pushed out of your daydream and keep typing. College it is. Now, take a deep breath, get yourself a bowl of oatmeal, and crank out those supplements. You’ll thank me later.

Check back second semester for an article on How it Feels to be Rejected: the Terrible Twists of College Applications.