The Everyday Anxieties Of Applying To College


As soon as you enter high school, you are immediately thrown into the “pre-college” world. Suddenly everything you do in these next four years will decide not only if you will graduate from high school, but also if you will go on to get into a “good” college.

Then you get to senior year, and if you haven’t figured it out already, you realize, “Shit, I graduate in nine months.”

And thus, the painful journey begins. I’d like to introduce this joyous time in all our lives as “college bound”. Ah yes, the wonderful time that is spent cramming useless knowledge into your head for standardized testing, college visits every other weekend with your parents, applying to schools and having no idea if you’re doing it right, and now my favorite stage (totally kidding this stage sucks even more than the others) of the game: the waiting period.

I get so heated every time I think of the admissions counselors skimming my application, barely reading any of the important things I spent weeks tweaking, rewording, adding to make myself seem like the ideal student. But they don’t care. Without hesitation my precious application, as well as hundreds of thousands of others, is thrown into one of 3 piles: accepted, wait-listed, or rejected.

And that is something that really ticks me off. They don’t really know me by my application. They don’t know all the things that make me…well, me.

But it’s grades. It’s intensity of course load. It’s correct punctuation. It’s not you. It’s what you’re trained to be for them. That’s what these admission people are really looking for. They don’t care about your hometown or long essays on your family vacation and the things that make you happy, or sad, or mad. No. That’s beside the point. It’s how well you can be what they want to see. And that’s what decides what pile you go into.

So what can you do to make sure you get into your college? Play the game. Play *their game. And play it well. Because there’s no room for half-assing anything anymore. This is the first phase of your life where you learn tough love. This college decision is just the beginning of what’s to come in the real world. You have to play the game to get what you want. So here’s your chance.

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