A piece in which I try to console others and maybe myself.

I’m not the one that was raised into being conditioned into believing an Ivy League school would be the one thing I would ever deem acceptable as a source of my education. I had never been the one to pull my hair out over getting a B on a test. I had never been the one to cry over a letter of rejection from any type of college – I was keen on accepting that this was something I could not and would not change and that was that. But at the same time, I had never been the one to ever think it would be possible for me to even have the chance to apply to certain colleges or even be accepted to one.

Neither of my parents have gone to college, in fact, my older sister and I are currently the first in our family to pursue and (hopefully) complete some sort of higher education. We were raised with humble opinions and determination for something better than what our parents had. Going into a high school where I hear my friends constantly talking about “top choices” and such has kind of been a downer for me. On one hand, I’m incredibly happy for my friends that they’ve gotten into somewhere they want to go. On the other, I know that a “top choice” option doesn’t really exist for me. I’ll have to settle for whatever place can be somewhat financially affordable for me and even then somehow scramble for tuition money.

This fact hit me a few months ago when discussing college with my dad. I was talking about the (ever so over-achieving) possibility that I might get into a certain school that to me, was really good, when he hit me with, “You know we can’t afford it.” This threw me into a “what the hell is the point of all this” existential crisis of some sorts, when I realized that even if I had been magically accepted into an Ivy or something grand, there would be no way in hell for me to be able to attend. Accepting this fact has helped me cope with some of my rejections, as I click away from these college portals and move on with my life. “I don’t have the money for it anyways” has been my mantra whenever I’ve been rejected, and I’m honestly fine with it. But I know there’s some people that for them, this is basically the end of the world.

Seeing my friends cry over college decisions has been both confusing and worrisome for me. Why don’t I cry over my rejection letters? Does this mean I didn’t push myself hard enough, does this mean I’ve always known I wasn’t smart enough? Because for a long time I really believed that my academic failures and at times disinterest meant I was stupid and would never be able to equate to my peers.

At this point in my life I know for a fact that it isn’t true. Me being disinterested (and hating) math and science doesn’t mean I’m any less smart or qualified than my friends. And obviously different colleges are looking for different things. Some just didn’t want what I had and some didn’t want what my friends had. That’s okay. I truly believe we’ll find the place that we know will be able to gladly host all we have to offer, both literally and figuratively.

Rejection hurts like hell but the worst is over. I feel free, as though this giant weight of waiting everyday for a decisions notification in my email is over, and it is. Right now I still don’t know where I want to go based on the choices I have now – I just know I want to somehow get out of this feisty little college town that I’m so sick of. I think we’re all a little tired of always having to have a competitive edge to try and be better than our friends. I think we all need to start thinking about what we want for ourselves a little more.

College apps have been stressful. I need a long nap and a Wawa run. I think we all do.


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