To 2015 Seniors

And anyone else who’s listening.

I would never choose to be in your position again. However, there’s so much excitement and stress ahead and it’ll all be over with a flurry of rejections, acceptances, school functions, and goodbyes. I have a couple of major things I’d like to impart on you as you begin dealing with Common App, unbearable anticipation, senior year festivities and tribulations–I hope someone out there will take something, anything, away from this post.

First things first, I’m gonna dispel the rumor that senior year is a breeze because it’s not. For the entirety of high school, I heard upperclassmen insisting that junior year is excruciating and senior year is a joke, but that wasn’t the case at all–at least for me. I didn’t think junior year was especially difficult, but that may have been because I didn’t take AP Physics (however, pretty much everybody insists that junior year sucks regardless of the classes they take, so maybe that’s not it). I took 4 AP classes senior year and was too much of a perfectionist to let things slide. In retrospect, I could’ve cut myself a little slack, but I’m still not entirely convinced that it would’ve been much easier like that anyhow. I realize now not to trust other people’s claims, no matter how many people agree. Another instance of these lies was “You don’t even know yet–Senioritis gets much worse, just wait.” Biggest lie. Believe me, I’ve been this ready to leave for years.

Even though applying to college is an arduous and nerve-racking process, it’s fantastic–when it’s over. As soon as you get those results, it’s like a whole world of possibilities open up before you. It just makes the next part of your life that much clearer, and I love to know what’s coming–I need to know. True, I still can’t wholly predict what life will be like for the next four years, but I have a better idea of the direction in which I’m heading. Ironically, getting accepted to college prompted me to think about life after college. Maybe this means I don’t live in the moment, but I can’t help the fact that I’m usually looking toward the future. It’s scary, but after I found out where I was going, I saw all of these possible adult-life scenarios and it’s truly thrilling to a naive, optimistic, idealistic girl like me. I could never quite imagine things that way before I knew what my options were, and now that I can, it’s both exhilarating and terrifying. But hey, gotta start planning sooner or later, right?

The biggest piece of “advice” I can give is that you should always strive to keep the end goal in mind. The stress will only wear you down in the moment if you let it: just try to remember what it’s all for, and that the mixed emotions about college admissions will pass. In the meantime, enjoy the last year of high school and spend time doing what you want to do. Not what you feel like you should do, or what others think you should do. Follow your own advice.

~Natalie

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