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Dear Seniors by Afeefah K. '21

let's talk

December 17, 2017

Life has drastically changed in the past few months. You’re in a moment that feels like it will define the rest of your life. You’ve got one year left and a whole lot of stuff to do. And whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, you subconsciously know that this year is going to be life-changing. You started in one place and will end up in another.

You’ve got mixed emotions. You can see college peeking at you from around the corner. You’re excited about getting to finally be your own person.You can’t wait to throw your cap up high at graduation. But you’re also a tad bit sad. You’re going to miss your family. And your friends. And home cooked meals. And the laundry you don’t have to do. You’re worried how the future will play out.

College applications just don’t seem to end, and as you open yourself up, in essay after essay, decisions become really REALLY scary. You’ve cried. No, SOBBED you’re way to sleep. You’re terrified of the taste of rejection. You’ve made yourself sick to the stomach out of worry. You’re afraid that you aren’t good enough. That your stats aren’t high enough. That your personality is not charming enough. That your essays are not unique enough. You’ve put in years of hard work to get into your dream schools. You’ve studied hard for the SAT. You’ve done all the extracurriculars. You’ve filled your schedule with APs. You’re worried it will go to waste. You’re worried that there’s something wrong inside of you. And that college admissions will see it.

But you still spend time on every single application. Because fears and insecurities aside, you want to see how far you can go. There’s also a part of you that secretly enjoys writing these essays. You’ve learned a lot about yourself writing them. It was hard. In the beginning, it didn’t seem possible. It took a lot out of you to put yourself into words. It took a lot to be open and honest and true. But you’re glad you did. It showed you what you were capable of.

You’re almost half-way through with senior year. You’re at the point where application deadlines become plenty and decision dates become near. There have been acceptances. There have been deferrals. There have been rejections. Confirmation bias tells you the decision was inevitable. And as you display emotions in front of others, there’s a whole different set on the inside. And regardless of what the emotions you are feeling may be, you should know that it’s ok to feel them.

People will tell you different things. They’ll tell you that college decisions are beyond your control. That things work out in the end. That you’ll do well wherever you go. That whatever happens, happens for the best. That college decisions are about a good match. That life goes on.

But you don’t have to believe in all that right now. It’s okay to just sit, surrounded by your emotions. Because, that is also an experience. Because eventually you’ll come around. And you’ll realize something new. You’ll realize that you’re better than you thought. That you don’t need other people to recognize your worth for it to exist. And that is what will carry you far.

You’ll realize how limited your time is. How, you’ll not just miss the people that you love but also the person that you are right now at this time and at this place. Because there’s quite nothing like senior year of high school. There’s nothing like working on college applications with friends and family. There’s nothing like waiting to hear back. There’s nothing like taking time to look back at the person you’ve become because of the dreams you’ve chosen to chase after. There’s nothing like looking at all of the people that support all that you do. There’s nothing like seeing things work out even when you’ve stumbled and fallen.

Of course, it can take some time for things to really workout. It’ll take even longer to realize it.
In the meantime, enjoy this spotify playlist (“Five Stages of Feeling”) my friend made for you all (Disclaimer: she’s a broadway fan). Let yourself feel the feels. It’s allowed.