The Process: Summer Anticipation

The Process: Summer Anticipation

This article is part of a series in which a rising high school senior chronicles her admissions process. You can read Gabby’s previous post here.

As back-to-school advertisements hit the airwaves and a new stampede of college students overtakes Philadelphia, I realize that summer won’t be going on forever. Things are beginning to feel real.

On August 1st at midnight, I found myself anxiously sitting at my computer and refreshing the Common App website time and time again. 12:15, and the application was nowhere to be found. I felt as if I’d been stood up for a blind date− one that had the chance to significantly alter my life. I gnawed at my fingernails and waited. When I finally created an account and became a “true” college applicant, I began to realize that this was finally happening. My ever-changing list of schools was no longer a mere document on my computer. Instead, it was officially real.

My restlessness only intensified over the next week. As I glanced over my emails one day, I spotted a message from my counselor with the subject “Let’s get it started!” Inside, laid a laundry list of monumental tasks to complete before I returned to school. There were so many foreign collegiate terms.

As I currently neglect my summer assignments in favor of summer bliss, I’ve found that college permeates through all aspects of my life these days. It seems almost impossible to escape that terrifying yet exciting laundry list of items to complete. No family trip this summer has been complete without a casual college visit thrown in, “since we’re already here anyway!”. My trip to Portland next week won’t be complete without a quick stop at Reed College, and no New York adventure is sufficient unless we visit NYU, too. While my vacations have become a little bit more school-oriented, I’ve learned so much by exploring different cities and campuses. I’ve been able to imagine so many possible strands that my post-high school life can take, whether it be in Massachusetts or Wisconsin.

When I come home from my Portland vacation-college visit combo, I know that I’ll have tons of work to catch up on. However, I’ve been trying to think of each school in my Common App list as much more than a mere description or a grey triangle with some information. Instead, I see each school as my possible home for four years− all absolutely incredible.

While I may be feeling incredibly overwhelmed, I’ve also never been this excited about the future. There’s no better feeling than stepping onto a college campus, falling in love with it, and realizing that this could very well be my future home. I’m eager to see what’s in store for me…