College: Undeniably the Hardest Time for Today’s Teenagers.

There is not much more to say beyond this, but it does deserve an explanation. College is not just any decision, it is a choice the can shape the rest of your life. Before the journey even actually begins things get complicated.
You’ll begin by sitting down and staring at endless lists of college majors, deciding this is a battle within itself. Then you pick, or you don’t, and it doesn’t even get easier. Then you take that tiny little major and you need to pick a school where it can fester and grow and eventually become your entire life. So, you look. You decided big or small? State on not? Private or public? And each choice stubs out some schools, but the list remains unfathomable.
Once you narrow it down to about twenty options things become just barley bearable. At this point you can sleep and night. The worst seems to be over right? Wrong.
The guidance counselors then come in and ruin everything you had planned, that apartment in the city with your friends? Bubble burst there is no way you can afford that. That dream ivy league? Well maybe aim lower. Your twenty become a list of ten. So then you take your list of ten and apply.
For me it was four select schools, places I knew no matter what I would love and be able to afford. So I sat down with the common app and began the process. Thirty rough drafts of an essay later and a thousand arguments with my mother about what this or that meant, I had applied. Then the wait, a wait that almost burns your insides out, but you manage. You pass time and go about senior year milling through classes halfheartedly. Then the letters come.
Accepted to one place, and then the others trickle in. At first it’s overwhelming and you cry and jump up and down, but it’s not over.
Next comes the most miserable part. Financial aid, you’ll fight with your parents, have no idea what is going on, finally learn to read a W2. You will then be told one school requires a supplementary form that’s $16 and if your parents are divorced? Yea that’s a whole other set of papers. When it’s sent it can still be sent back because you’re missing something or your non custodial parent has no idea they missed an entire page.
Then it’s over. You’ve been accepted, financial aid is in and you’re crossing your fingers you here good news about your top choice. Then the horror stories of friends who got $3,000 or no aid at all begin to be told and you’re now an insomniac because you can not stop thinking about it.
When it comes back and you’ve finally settled on a school for a while it seems okay. The joy of leaving home, the freedom it’s all so close. But there is still so much more. Roommates, loans, what to buy, jobs, classes and meal plans all come back one by one to bite you.
This is as far as I’ve come, but I know there is more on the way and until I’m sitting on my little college twin across from my best friend (who happens to be coming with me) it will still be stressful. Balancing college acceptances and aid is hard, but cake it on top of senior year expenses and a full AP course load; you can say I’ve been better.

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