For about three weeks before the new year, when the majority of my apps were due, I gradually grew more and more frazzled, until I finally cracked. I’m a stress-crier, and on the evenings of Dec. 31 and Jan. 14 (my two deadlines), I’m surprised I didn’t drown in a sea of my own cortisol-fueled tears.
So you can imagine my relief that application season is over. But now, although the stress is much less immediate, there is a new peril: the wait for results.
Every time college counselor Jane Bauman announces another acceptance for one of my peers, I feel a part of myself withering away. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled for my classmates. It’s just that the waiting is eating me alive.
Of course, I didn’t apply early anywhere. If I had, I probably would have been much more stressed earlier in the year – instead, I watched my peers hyperventilate over their early decision apps, thanking myself for not going that route.
However, many of those same classmates who figuratively killed themselves to get their early apps in have been paid back in full with the assurance that they’ve been accepted to at least one place. Some of them, having applied early decision, won’t even have to agonize over which college to attend – their choice is already made.
At this point, there’s nothing I can do to improve my chances, and that powerlessness, more than anything else, stresses me out.
By that same token, too, now that the first semester is over and grades for midyear reports are finalized, there’s nothing left for me to do. For most of my classes, I’m in no danger of failing, and without the push to get into a good college (the driving force behind the vast majority of my academic achievements over the last four or five years), the nihilism is sinking in.
After all, if colleges don’t care about my second-semester grades, why should I? Why should I kill myself for perfect grades when it won’t affect my future in the slightest?
My life is descending into pointless boredom – and the agonizing wait of another six weeks for the emails that will determine the course of my life.
But what makes this more frustrating than anything is that I honestly have nothing to worry about. I applied to nine schools, at least seven of which I have a very solid chance of getting into. All of my schools are places at which I would be happy to end up.
I have nothing to fear.
And yet, I worry.
Oh, how I worry.
Can April just arrive already?
—By Amelia Fineberg