As a high school senior, it is to be expected that college is always on my mind. It seems that, regardless of the time or place, the tricky subject finds an opening. College! That magical fairytale land of which every high-school student dreams. I spent my freshman, sophomore, and junior years dreaming. In my senior year, I learned that I was responsible for getting there.
I can remember attending a college meeting last year and hearing the process broken down into lovely, compact sections. It was one thing to hear the theory about how easy it could be, and another to finish the process. Between the SATs, the applications, the FAFSAs and the CSSs, I was exhausted before I began. The more people spoke to me about college, the more it presented itself as a steep uphill climb.
It was not until I had sent my last application that I felt I had accomplished anything. This was the first time I saw my triumphs stacked neatly. It was the first time I saw myself presented in a way that seemed equipped to deal with the responsibilities of college. To put it simply: I was proud. My hard work was not in vain; all those awards didn’t seem so insignificant after all.
Senior year has the potential to be the most satisfying year of any high school student’s career, but only if you can say with certainty that you are proud of yourself. It is only enjoyable once you’ve climbed the mountain and realized your true potential. Take the journey to college as an opportunity to test your commitment to your own success. And if you ever feel as though the hill is too steep, remember the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”