3 tips to deal with the challenges of being a high school senior
First, let me tell you that you are enough. You are enough. You are enough.
This is a stressful time. A time where you question the foundations of your future and stare into the ambiguous mass before you which is the college process.
I was there too.
And you know what? I made it.
I love college. My days are balanced. I work hard. I have new friends who make me laugh and challenge me and push me to be better. Every Friday we have movie night and spontaneously we have Cheese Night too. We sometimes go to the city. Classes are challenging but I have time to do my work thoroughly. I am a writer and editor for various literary magazines. I am part of the tennis club. I am making my way. And this sounds all great and good, and much of it is, but college doesn’t solve everything for you. It pushes you. It stretches you. It gives you a place to really get to know yourself. Realize parts of yourself you never thought existed (I never thought I would fall in love with Chinese class). In college, you get to figure out You.
And I know you’re thinking, OK … Great. But it’s because of this that looking back, I would go about the process you are faced with differently. With this hindsight, I want to share my reflections with you. I want to try and help you navigate this sea of stress and show you a peek of what lies ahead.
1. Fit is what matters.
I’m sure you’ve heard this enough to think it’s just a jumble of cliché.
But it’s not. I am happy here because it is an incredible fit for me. I know I belong here. The people are like me and unlike me all at once. It’s everything from professors knowing my name to the chocolate chip muffins (grilled) on Tuesday mornings. The campus resources are incredible and the curriculum I’m looking for is at my fingertips. I am part of many strong communities and the college works hard to give me these opportunities. The list goes on, but my point is that this is beginning to feel like home.
That’s what you want. You want your next community to feel like home.
Part of this is me making it what it is for me, but a lot of it is also the community I chose.
2. When you think about applying, do things that make you happy.
Do it for you. Seriously. No one else will remember and your application can never really encapsulate you anyway. At least show as much of your authentic self as you can.
If a college can’t handle that, they don’t deserve you. It’s important to remember your own value is far above the “yes” or “no” from any institution.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others.
As you sprint along a similar curriculum in High School, it’s so easy to fall into the stress culture of comparison thinking competition, survival of the fittest.
It shouldn’t be that way.
Here’s a secret: In college (at least at my college), it’s not competitive like that. People don’t really care what you do but they are incredibly supportive of your plans and discoveries. Here’s why: we all have different and unique paths. You can’t compare. Anyway, your biggest job in college is to figure out what you love, who you are and who you want to be. All broad concepts and a lot more challenging than comparing grades.
I find it liberating. You can’t define yourself based on other people or numbers or whatever other means. You have to find new ways to be with yourself and explore who you are.
Thanks for spending the time to read this. I appreciate it and I hope you find a college that makes you as happy as mine does for me.
It’s really just the beginning, I promise.
Emily Dromgold ’17
Emily is a junior at Wellesley College. During her time at WMA, she won the Stephen D. Luckraft Memorial, Trustee and Class of 1977 Humanitarian awards. Emily has been kind enough to share her experiences with our community.