Breathe. Seriously though, take a long and deep breath because I’m sure you’ve been holding it in over these past few months. After every application, after every time you have stared longingly through the window at the mailman, waiting, hoping, praying for that thick envelope, that “congratulations” stamped across the top of your page, I’m sure you find it hard to work your respiratory system.
When I was first looking into schools, I thought the whole application process would be the hardest thing. However, it was the waiting game that absolutely destroyed my fingernails and fueled my insomnia. But Senior, don’t doubt yourself. If you worked hard and wanted it enough, the right school will find you. And once you’re in?
You. Are. Free.
You will have so much freedom that you won’t even know what to do with it. College is the beautiful middle-man of not being thrust out into society just yet, but no longer having that 10:00 p.m. curfew either. You want to stay up all night and then sleep all day? Do it! You want to order nachos at 3 a.m.? Do it!
After you get over the initial shock of how unreal it feels to be completely on your own after high school, which I learned the hard way when I realized that all I knew how to cook was Easy-Mac, you will find that the possibilities truly are endless. The only problem with that is that it makes you think that you have so much time here.
Senior, you will learn so much over these next four years; about others, about yourself. You will find out who you aren’t, who you are, and everything in between. How many mistakes will you make? Endless. How much pizza will you consume? Disgusting. How many times do I honestly regret eating that pizza? Zero.
But college approaches just as quickly as it ends. One morning, you’re packing up the Hyundai and squeezing your parents goodbye, and before you know it, it’s four years later and people are ringing you out in the grocery line, with your wine and pint of ice cream in tow, asking you what you’re doing next year after you graduate. And all you’re going to think is: “but I just got here.”
It is more than okay to get to school and be overwhelmed. It is also more than okay to not know exactly what you’re doing or who you are. But between the studying, the all-nighters, the Franzia-binges, and the fun; because it is so much fun; remember that this fluidity and this freedom goes by so fast. Cherish it. Embrace every opportunity. Allow yourself to open up, and allow yourself to grow. Join, do, meet, love, laugh. If you’re lucky, you will find a school that feels like a soul mate to you. If you’re very lucky, you will find your soul mates along with it.
So Senior, everyone is going to tell you how wonderful these next four years will be. But don’t you listen to them for a second.
Because they are going to be even better.