My Dad and I have discovered that this weekend is the most popular for college tours. We did not realize this when we planned our own college tour weekend a couple months ago, but now that we are traveling, we keep seeing fathers/mothers with kids my age. The fathers/mothers look beyond excited, like they’re reliving their youth – probably alum – and the kids look beyond sick, like they want to go back to the state where they don’t have to be around their parents 24/7 – normal college tour symptoms.
The looming college years seem scary to a lot of high school students. “A lot” may even be an understatement. Living on one’s own and not having parents to help with decisions is intimidating. The idea of student debt is frightening. Plus the application process is just draining. But the exciting positives of college outweigh the negatives.
I am so beyond excited to begin my future as a college student that I somehow have this idea in my head that I am graduating this year… The junioritis is real! I have already drafted my college essay and have toured close to 20 schools already. Although talking about it at length with parents and guidance counselors and friends eases my mind a little bit, the thought of making a life-changing decision using a resume and a couple excruciatingly cheerful recommendation letters overwhelms me. I’ve talked about reach and stretch and fit schools so much I should be able to do a split by now. I’m so anxious that I’ve considered staying home.
I have been told that this is normal.
Everything in life seems to just be preparation for the next thing. Elementary school to high school, honors classes to AP, college to career. That’s why many philosophies preach the “live in the moment” mentality. I believe this to be true when it comes to parties with friends, dinners with family, or sunny summer days. However, this just does not work when it comes to college. With respect to college, extensive research and thought is the best way to go. This is what I have learned, and to ease the minds of any other high school students going through the same process as me, I want to offer that advice. And if knowing you are not the only one anxious for college does not calm your mind, just think as soon as we get into school, we can party! (Just kidding, Mom and Dad!)
Overall, the work put in now for high school in preparation for college is definitely worthwhile because college has a lot of meaning to you as an individual and as a student. You need to go where you find your people. Find the vibe that fits your tribe. And although college seems daunting and the process is practically traumatizing, it can be exciting if you really dive into it.
Once I start the actual application process, visiting the Common App website every day kind of process, I will check back in with you to see if I am still so positive. But for now, good luck, students!