12th Grade Angst
Throughout my life there has always been a clear vision of what I will do. A plan that consisted of 5 simple steps:
- I will graduate High School
- I will graduate from College
- Then I will get my masters and or doctorate
- I will have a successful career
- I will marry, have children, then retire
Plain, simple, and easy right? It’s very linear, life was portrayed to me as linear. But the portrayal of life and the actuality of it are two completely different things. It’s the difference between who we wish to be and what we are. It’s the large contrast between what we want and what we get.
Before I entered high school, this list seemed to be very easy goals. Until three years ago all of these steps were set in stone. As I begin my senior year I realize that I am only sure that will reach the first step. That is not to say that I am a “bad” student, but to express the competitiveness that is college admissions. There are days when it seems like you have to be superhuman to even get waitlisted. And if you do get in, how will you pay for it? Will you take out loans? If so, how much debt will you be in? Do you really want to spend a portion of your life giving half of your earnings to both taxes and your loans? To this some of you may respond, “Well, I can just get scholarships.” That is true, but they are not as easy to get as people paint them to be. You have to apply for them during your senior year. While attempting to get good grades in all of your classes (which for a lot of seniors are mostly AP courses) and trying to perfect all your applications. Notice how you have been reading this for a while and I still haven’t even gotten to test scores. Which test will you take? The SAT, the ACT or both? How many times? Have you been studying? What’s your score? Is it high enough to be considered for the college you want to go to? All of these questions and more must be answered before winter break. And I will repeat that all of this is just apart of the first step.
I have decided to devote a portion of the blog to talking about the required test we seniors must take for most colleges, the SAT and/or ACT. These tests are said to measure our “readiness” for college. Well, if that’s the case then I am only ready for clown college. To me these tests are simply required and nothing else. The score one receives is just a number, and whatever number you receive doesn’t determine how you will perform in college. I have two sisters that both graduated from USC with honors. The day I took the SAT I ask them what they scored on the SAT. My eldest sister laughed and the second eldest responded “I don’t remember exactly but I know it wasn’t high.” To this I inquired if they felt they had trouble in college due to their scores. The eldest sister answered “Honestly, college was so different for high school that the SAT* held no actual relevance.” Please note that I am not slandering the SAT* or people that perform well on it. I am simply that it is not a definition of how smart you are or how you will turn out.
A lesson I learned after I saw my scores was to not beat yourself up. For weeks I would think to myself, “You failed yourself”. “You are an embarrassment.” “How could you be so idiotic.” As time passed my mother told me that that type of thinking is not only unhealthy but also unproductive. If you don’t like something, do your very best to change it. And if you truly know that you gave it all you had, then there is nothing to be ashamed of. So hold your head high, look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself whatever it is you need to hear to keep going and try harder.
*(I am using SAT as a general term for all college required tests)
So What Is The Purpose of the Blog?
Well, in short I want to source of solace for those who are facing any of the questions mentioned in the first paragraph. I hope to comfort you in simply saying, senior year of high school is stressful and at times overwhelming. And that someone else on this earth is sharing this experience with you. Mainly I wish to encourage you through this stressful process cause, in actuality, it will be over soon. But right now we are here, in this moment together, all just trying to finish that first step.
Aura Michelle – 16 Years