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December 9, 2013

Applying to College is Pretty Much Exactly Like Eating at a Restaurant.

Hey kiddos, it’s starting to be that time again. The time where high school children all over America begin speeding their way home after school to check their mailbox with profound eagerness. It’s way too early for tax returns, so that can only mean one thing; we’re approaching decision letter time. Never has the presence of the mailman seemed more exciting. Your future is held in the hands of a man (or woman, you never know) in blue cargo shorts driving a little white truck with the seat on the wrong side.  Fun and exciting, right?

While I was applying to college, the entire application process seemed like a very, very long meal at a restaurant. You are attending a fancy dinner with your closest friends, the entire graduating class of 2014. You spend three years of your life in high school, preparing for college, making your way to the restaurant that is the college application process. You finally arrive, in the fall of your senior year, and everyone in the class, (thousands and thousands of you) sit down, are brought glasses of water, and start analyzing the menu. You look for something that seems suitable to eat. Something that appeals to you, is in your budget, and allows you to follow all of your food-related dreams.

You narrow it down to a few options, and order some appetizers. Gotta see what all this food is about, you know? You need to see what the food experience is like, and to make sure that you would feel comfortable with your choice. The appetizers come, you sample, have a delightful time, and then decide on what sort of food you’re interested in. You place an order. You feel good about your decision.

And then you wait.

And you wait.

And you wait.

You sit at the table and twist your napkin and drink seventeen glasses of water and stare at the door to the kitchen and wait in agony.

And then finally, finally, FINALLY, your food comes. It might be the best food you’ve ever had, or it could be absolutely terrible. You never know until it’s sitting right in front of you. Then, the waiting is over and you begin your journey.

Two years ago, and what feels like eons ago, I was in the same place most of you are in now; I was sitting at the restaurant, banging my face against the table, waiting for my decision letters to come in the mail. I completely empathize with you. I know how hard it is to come home every day to an empty mailbox (and by empty I mean not full of letters from colleges begging you to attend them). You’re waist-high in the hardest part of the college application process. Once your food comes, the wait is over and you finally get to eat. You finally get to take a step in the direction of the rest of your life.

I don’t mean to sound corny and cliché here, but it’s definitely worth the wait. Hang in there, class of 2014. It’s all up-hill from here.

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