College Stress

Hi! I hope everyone is having a great day/week. I want to talk about a topic today that has been giving me a load of stress recently. This ball of scariness and uncertainty is called COLLEGE ADMISSIONS. Yes, I am only a sophomore in high school, but you’d be surprised how often college comes up in my day to day conversations. The reason I’m so scared of college admissions is because I see myself as the most average student on the planet. I get good grades and I’m a part of the Theater Club at school, but nowadays that is just not enough. The two things I just said applies to most students at my school. My school is extremely competitive, so I just look like an underachiever compared to all of my classmates. I swear, my peers have literally been on television shows and have won national scholarships for being super smart. Not kidding. I just feel so lost. This year, I’m going to try to be a part of more clubs, but even then, nothing sticks out about me.

I’m sure a lot of you know the pressure of getting into a “good college” or your “dream school.” This is another reason why I’m so nervous about this whole college process. My dad went to a couple of great schools, most notably NYU, where he got his J.D. degree. My cousins attend Harvard, NYU Law, and the University of Michigan. As you are probably aware of, those are three incredible schools. Those three cousins are from my dad’s side of the family. My parents are divorced, so I’ve always felt like an outsider when at family events. For example, one year, Hanukkah fell on the same dates as Thanksgiving, so that evening at my cousin’s Thanksgiving celebration, my grandparents decided to give all of the kids their Hanukkah gifts. As I watched all of my cousins open their gifts, I saw their faces light up. I saw the hundred dollar bills in their hands. As I open my gift, I see the fabric of the gloves in the wrapping peek through. Of course, I was disappointed, but remember how I said I’m in the Theater Club? Yeah, I’m a pretty good actress if I do say so myself.

Anyway, the point of that story was not to say that my grandparents are horrible people, because they’re not. It’s to say that I never really understood my place in my dad’s family. I guess that’s why I want to get into a good college. To impress them and make them proud. I grew up with it always being just me and my mom. I’m lucky that she never pressured me into having a crazy amount of extracurriculars or playing every sport there is. She always wanted me to work hard and do the best I can, and she never forced me to pursue an activity that I didn’t like. My mom is super supportive, and I love her so much. But sometimes I wonder, do the kids who were always forced to do everything and be “perfect” have an advantage when applying to colleges? Yeah, you might resent your parents for the rest of your life, but at least you got into Harvard, right?

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