Life moves at this pace that is almost impossible to keep up with. When they say it goes by in the blink of an eye, they are not kidding. When I woke up (pretty late) on the first of last year, I was a different person. I was young and all I seemed to care about was getting a new car and leaving home. Now as I go into the last night of that same year, I simply want to have my family and friends by my side and for my education to continue. I feel like I am no longer a teenager, but an adult.
Growing up is a part of life, and I know someday I will want these years to stop going by so quickly, but for now I love them. I love that I can read my old posts and see just how much I have grown in these last months. I love that I have photos to look back on my year.
Being 18 is one of those ages that makes everything seem beautiful. Sitting in a small college dorm, eating french fries with every meal and sleeping for about 5 hours a day all seems amazing. I am in that age where everything seems to be breathtaking. I am so grateful for this year. It was outstanding, is outstanding.
I want to appriciate time. I want to savor my life. I want to bask in everything, everyday. I love each moment. The change is inevitable and all I can hope for in these next 365 days is that I change yet again for the better.
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.
One of the most obnoxious things is probably a person who tends to push their opinions onto you. It’s perfectly good to have an opinion and to feel passionate about it, but the line needs to be draw somewhere. When it comes to the point where every time someone says something you are trying to back it up with some strange fact list that seems to only come in your opinions favor, you have an issue. It’s time for an opinion intervention, because you are not always going to be right. Your feelings toward an issue are not the only ones, and that should not be hard to understand.
Where I stand in the world I am constantly surrounded only by teenagers who by nature think they are always right. With this territory comes the few that can’t seem to have an open mind for even a second. I guess there are a lot of things that could be to blame for this. Parents are one because in some households an opinion is bred from birth, and everything else almost seems to be a betrayal. Mom and dad spent their entire time parenting making sure they would produce the perfect child who would stand up for everything they believed in, well guess what it worked. So many kids are asked where they stand on politics and other major issues and so many of them answer; “I’m not really into that but my parents say…” and then they proceed to regurgitate years of their parents evidence and reasons. So here stands my second issue with opinions, half of the time they are fueled by an irrelevant fire.
What is so hard to grasp is that some people can go on for their entire lives not knowing what it is like to learn something from somebody who believes differently then you. It can be thrilling to here the other side of the story. To learn all about something that may have never been a thought to you before. This is by no means telling you to abandon all your views on things, but to take a step back and realize sometimes you don’t have all the facts straight and it is perfectly okay. Be strong in where you lie in life, but never restrict yourself to what you “know” is true. There are so many opinions in the world, and half of them can’t even be touched upon because everyone is to busy protecting their most passionate ones. It’s about a balance, a balance between knowing, learning and accepting.
So many things can go wrong in my life, and all I have to do is close my eyes and try to remember what it felt like on this day. The day I was able to check something off of my bucket list. The day I stood in front of one of the most famous pieces of architecture and said: “I’m finally here.”
Everyone seems to be leaving. Growing up and taking on the world with this new energy that I can’t seem to find. I’m not sure if I’m ready to hop on the ride that seems to be going nowhere in particular. I’m not sure I’m ready to go into the world knowing there is a small chance nothing good may come out of it. So at this point I guess it is all just a waiting game. I have never been far from home without knowing I’d be back into the swing of things in less then a week. My life is going to start soon, and I’m terrified.
What will come of me when I’m no longer stuck to High School and the town that molded me? It’s hard to even fathom me without the small little town nestled near the big city. It’s who I am, I think. It’s an existential crisis, one where I know I want more but I’m fighting with my courage to even attempt to get there. I guess everyone feels it at some point, but I always figured I knew what I was doing and if anyone was ready for LIFE it was me. Now I don’t know.
Just posting this is a step out of my comfort zone. I’m an invert and I always have been. I know, or I like to think, there is greatness in me somewhere. I hope it’s just hiding, waiting to make some ridiculous entrance. I always figured if anyone’s courage was going to be catty it would be mine.