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December 3, 2012

Throwback Sunday: My Life a Year Ago

I have a lot of friends who are seniors in high school this year, and lately, they’ve all been talking about college applications. It sounds horrible, but it’s hilarious to

My friend Alec and I working very, very diligently on our college applications in December, 2011.

watch them experience all the struggles that I went through while I was applying to college. It’s so nostalgic to hear them talk about the common app, SAT scores, or how they’re trying to come up with the most original and intriguing way to tell admissions folks that they really are more special than the other 10-20 thousand students who are also applying.

A year ago yesterday, I sent in my first three college applications. Funnily enough, none of them were for Clark (yet). It’s so strange to look back and think about how different my goals and ambitions were than they are now; back then I wanted to go to a school in California, bump up my ACT score by two points, and survive until graduation. Those were my only cares in the world. Now, it seems like my ambitions are real, tangible things. I’m still kind of ironing out what they are, but I definitely know that they don’t revolve around the college admissions process anymore. For my entire senior year of high school, I was stupidly concerned with what I was going to do with my life after I finished applying for college, because for so long, my entire existence seemed to revolve around perfecting my high school experience to apply to admissions councils.  Since then, I’ve found that I have interests other than collecting test-prep books (although I kind of wish they made them for college), and that I have hobbies other than homework.

This time last December, I was preparing for the year’s first Drill Meet. A little known fact about me: I did four years of NJROTCin high school (which apparently

Throwback Sunday!

not many people know of here, I suppose it’s more of a West Coast thing. Most likely, it’s more of a not-liberal-arts-university thing). Every year, we traveled to Fairbanks (it gets to about -30 degrees there sometimes…yikes!) to compete against some of the interior schools in drill competitions (The fancy gun spinning is only one of the categories. I competed in something much easier and vastly less impressive). It was hard work to prepare for the competition, but we always had a good time. For a while I found myself mourning the Fairbanks trip this year, but then I realized while that was fun and everything, I’d much rather be in college, where I have freedom and I can sleep all day.

In addition, I was trudging through the black sludge that is pre-calculus, and fighting to keep my head above water in my Environmental Science class (which, honestly, was WAY harder than it needed to be). All of this was occurring on top of the pinnacle of my entire senior year: college admissions.

To my intended audience, the class of 2013, who are  currently putting all of their might (or at least they should be) into finishing those applications, keep up the good work. I know exactly what it’s like to be where you are, (if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this) and I know how much it sucks. Yes, you have AP classes, and sports, and jobs, and school activities, and homework, and twelve million other things to take care of, and yes, it is awful to take care of all of that while simultaneously selling yourself to strangers at universities, and writing thousands upon thousands of words-worth of essays and trying to remember your social security number so you can enter it into billions of forms tons and tons of times. I promise you, class of 2013, it gets astronomically better once you turn in that last application. Hang in there, guys and gals, because a year from now, as you finish up your first semester of college, you’ll be able to look back and see how ridiculous your life was a year ago.

P.S. What’s with this weather? It was warm enough today for me to prance around in a light jacket, and there was absolutely no snow on the ground. Come on, Worcester! It might as well be July. It just doesn’t feel like December without any snow.

Throwback Sunday!

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