My goals and expectations for the coming school year are beginning to feel a bit overwhelming. I am very involved in activities and clubs at my high school, and I know that heaping college applications and visits on top of an already packed extracurricular and academic schedule is likely to frazzle me and burn me out before the year is through. Therefore, my primary hope for this school year is that I effectively manage my time. This has not been a problem in the past, but with so many different and equally important commitments, it poses a serious threat.
I am very nervous about living up to my potential this coming year, and with applying for schools comes the uncertainty of whether or not I will get in to my top choices. I have the tendency to over-think all decisions, so I am also worried about making a final decision in regard to choosing a college.
Most of this worry stems from the belief that I will pick the “wrong” school. Realistically, I know that there are many great schools out there, and I don’t believe that there is one “perfect” school for me, which alleviates some of my indecision and fear, but I am still afraid of making a colossal mistake.
Exploring the college process with parents
Adding to my fear is the fact that I am the eldest child, so my parents have never gone through this process before. They joke that I am the “practice round,” which gets less funny the closer the deadlines get. I am generally a fairly independent person, often making academic decisions such as participating in the science fair first and asking for permission and supplies second, but in this decision, I want all the help I can get.
My parents and I are learning together, and my mother and I recently took a road trip to tour schools. We traveled to Chicago and looked at schools in Minnesota, and everyone was so helpful and eager to answer my questions, especially the admissions counselors, that I felt at home at almost every school. Our trip helped ease many of my fears and made me realize I am not as behind in the process as I thought I was.
Although this decision frightens me, it also excites me. It is a big decision, and it is one of the first I will make as an adult. It will be a huge step toward independence. The thought of leaving home and moving to a new city or even a new state terrifies me, but the possibilities of a new environment and the freedom to make my own decisions hold their own charm.
Exciting, overwhelming, but it will all come together
I am excited for the new experiences available in college and the chance to participate in many new and interesting activities. I am also excited to meet new people and adapt to a new environment while studying and preparing for my future.
This coming year, I have many responsibilities, as does every senior in high school making these decisions. Though everything seems overwhelming and scary at this point, I know that by the end of the year, I will be calm and prepared for the next step in my education.
Everyone from my grandmother to family friends is asking me about my plans. I look forward to balancing my time, making an informed decision, and giving them an answer.
Loyola High School, Mankato, Minn.
Hometown: North Mankato, Minn.