Applying to college, finding myself

By Abbie Neufeld

I can finally say that I am done with my college applications. Each yellow box on commonapp.org that signified an application was in progress has now turned into a green triangle, and what a beautiful sight all those green triangles are.

It was a long and hard process. I cannot estimate the amount of time I spent writing all the essays, but I can say I probably spent more time thinking about my responses than I spent writing what would become my final essays. Now that I have finished the process, I am glad to have gone through it, and not only because of the schools the applications could lead me to. I am glad because the questions they asked forced me to think about who I am. What are my intellectual interests, my goals? Where do I come from, and where do I want to go? These were some of the questions I was asked, both directly and indirectly.

I went into the process with ideas for my future, but as I went further into it, I kept building a more solid vision of who I want to be, and how I had come to this point. I can now look back on my life and see it as more than an abundance of disparate experiences. Though it had been long and winding, it was still a road, and I was going somewhere.

As I arrived at these conclusions, I also had to think about why I arrived at them. It was this “why” that led me to go beyond the limits of these society-construed positions and go deeper into the meaning of what I hope to achieve in and get out of my life.

As we progress through school, there’s this idea that we’re always preparing for the next stage in life. Yes, I have been preparing for the next stage in my life, but the beauty of the American educational system, despite its downfalls, is that this preparation can lead to so many places. I am happy to be in an American high school because of the broad education and the degree of creative freedom I’ve been given.

Without these things, I do not think I would have been able to formulate, to the same degree of satisfaction, the person I am, and the person I wish to become.

College applications might seem like just another mountain to climb, but once you get to the peak, you will never have seen a more beautiful view.

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