CollegeConfidential, the forum for college admissions counseling, is filled to the brim with perfect students all vying for spots at their dream schools. These teens have got perfect stats on standardized tests, rigorous curricula, a wide but deep range of interests, perfect grades, and a high, almost inevitably perfect GPA. During their summers, they volunteer and intern and work and research and create; they rank in the top 10% of their school, and just seem to have life in the bag.
Key word: “seem”
I’ve found myself browsing CollegeConfidential from time to time (read: every day), and it’s so incredibly easy to get swept up in their superiority. I feel like an ant among gods as I tiptoe through the forums; I call myself an idiot as I see all these other teens out there doing the impossible. This is, by no means, a post denouncing CollegeConfidential—I’ve honestly learned so much about the application and admissions process, and it’s so inspiring to see others working towards their dreams when I’m in the right state of mind; in addition, I don’t want to belittle others’ accomplishments, nor do I want to make others feel guilty about the amazing things they’ve done. It’s just that now I’ve realized how important it is to maintain an empathetic mindset while on that website.
They’re people. Real, actual people, with aspirations, and likes, and dislikes, and passions, and lives. They’ve worked hard for their accomplishments, and it’s really no use getting jealous or petty over that. My worth is not based on how well you’re doing in life compared to me; it’s all about how far I’ve come from where I first started.
All I can do is work hard; I can’t control anything else other than myself. Once I realize this, I’m okay and the crushing weight of despair and jealousy disappears—until I see how even some of them can’t get into their dream colleges. My thought process basically goes: If they can’t get into their dream colleges, then where does that leave me? Honestly, think about it: they have perfect stats, great ambition, a deeply rooted interest in their major/future career… How am I supposed to get into my dream college when they can’t get into theirs, and they’re so accomplished?
And then I take a deep breath.
I can’t control how the admissions officers see my application, and I can’t control the other students I’m competing with for a college acceptance; I can only control myself and how hard I work now. I have absolutely no control over that part of my future, and that is okay. I just need to keep working hard, and only look back to see how far I’ve come. Thanks for reading today’s post, and happy Mother’s Day! (I made a card for my mom that contained a heartfelt letter.)
This Week’s Playlist
- Viva La Vida by Coldplay
- Fix You by Coldplay
- Some Nights by Fun
- Beauty and the Beast Medley by sleightlymusical
- New World Coming by DiSA
- Like Falling Stars by Avalon Roselin
- Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science—and the World by Rachel Swaby
- Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! by Andrew Breitbart
- The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua
- Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
P.S. – To all of my fellow highschoolers out there, you can do it! I know summer’s looming over the horizon, and we just want it to be over with, but finish the year out strong. You’ve already made it this far, why not finish the entire year with a bang? To the seniors awaiting their next chapters in life, whether it’s a gap year, college, trade school, a career, or something else, good luck! Make sure to take care of yourself, and spend some time with your family before you leave. Let’s toast to a great ending!