Yes, I Am Looking At Colleges (and Other Things You Can Stop Asking Me)

Darya Farah Foroohar

January 30th, 2019

Yes, I have started looking at colleges.

 

No, I haven’t decided on my favorite one. I do have a few that I’m interested in, which I will proceed to list. I will also list some that I know almost nothing about but which my friends have mentioned in order to make you think I have everything figured out.

 

Yes, colleges are all everyone talks to me about these days, especially adults like you. I can’t blame you, seeing that this is the only topic you know of to discuss with people my age, but I would like to have a conversation with one of my parents’ friends that doesn’t eventually delve into my SAT scores.

 

Speaking of which, I have taken the SAT. I got a good score, but I don’t know if it will be enough to get me into my dream school (if and when I decide on one). I don’t know if I will retake it; I don’t have a lot of time right now to undergo excessive cramming again, and, frankly, talking to you about it just increases my anxiety.

 

Yes, I do know that scores aren’t everything. I know my grades matter and that I should have lots of extracurriculars, and, in fact, I often put my mental health on hold while choosing extracurriculars because I think they will look good for college. I do enjoy and learn from them, but I also put too much on my plate, telling myself it will all be worth it when I get into college.

 

Yes, I know I have to write a college essay. I have to write several, actually, because there are many different applications. No, I have not started because I have not finished touring schools, but I consider myself a good writer and hope that my essays and supplements will be impressive enough for an acceptance.

 

Yes, my friends are also stressed. Yes, some of them are interested in the same schools that I am. I would never tell you this, but often I compare my prospective applications to some of my friends’ and realize that I would be the one getting rejected.

 

Yes, I know getting into college is a lot more difficult than when you were applying. Everyone tells me, and to be honest it doesn’t really make me feel better, especially when I also think about how the costs have increased as well since you applied.

 

No, I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I am sixteen years old, and I want to do everything. So many things interest me, but I may be forced to stop pursuing them by being forced to choose a single life path. I hope college will help me decide, but I don’t know if I want to go to graduate school once I do find out. No, I don’t think graduate school is necessary for all professions.

 

No, I have not gotten any professional advice from my school. They are more than happy to help me with the college process, but I’ve never really gotten career advice or instructions. It’s something I would like to know more about, especially because I sometimes feel as though I’m not going to know how to use my degree. But in the end, I have to trust myself and imagine that I will know what to do as I grow older and gain more experience. I understand that as I grow up I will have to take matters more into my own hands.

 

Yes, I am excited for this process to be over, but there is always something more I will have to do.

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