Don’t (just) wait for those college admissions letters
Are you caught up in the Big Wait, so your college admissions letters can determine your self-worth and direction?
Are you just trying to kill time until Spring when those
(crap, they are totally going to reject me) letters arrive?
You never know how it’s going to go. The admissions process is more arbitrary than you’d like. We have less control than we wish (over, well, everything).
Accepted? Rejected? Why would you give all your power away to those labels? You’ve got more that that, I know it.
Also– poll your peers in college: even if you get into the school you’re hoping desperately for, you STILL might not get what you thought you wanted (transfer apps, anyone?).
So what can you do for the next four
agonizing, god awful, interminable months, while you wait for your letters?
Refuse to live in anything but the now (pretty bad-ass, pretty hard)
You can lean away from the collective anxiety.
Be adamant about your right to be in this moment fully. It’s a human right. It’s annoying to hear and exhilarating to realize.
The very best thing you can do in this waiting period is not wait at all.
Instead, ask yourself what makes you want to go to college in the first place. Feed the person you wish to become.
Guides to action are proliferating across the internet right now. Here’s mine, for you:
Ways to Not Just Wait (for Spring, or anything)
- Really give a crap about what your (good) teachers are saying. Learn as much from them as you can.
- Forgive your bad teachers. They don’t know the damage they do, but you can be grateful to them as material for your writing and as counterexample.
- Ask your parents stuff. Learn about your family history. Push for details; listen with open mind.
- Challenge yourself. Not for that admissions brag sheet, not because anyone’s looking. Just because.
- Not feeling school? Learn something online. This is the internet, a phD in everything. Heard of Youtube?
- Read something. (Obama did it while in the White House, so you have time too).
- Read something that might be outside your normal picks.
- Feed your intellectual curiosity– jump into a critical conversation; listen first.
- Feed your passions– juggle (bad arguments); take up origami; cook food.
- Stand up for somebody. Because, let’s face it, teenagers have energy and the world is a bit of a hot mess right now. (Don’t get me started. This should be #1).
- Stand up for anything you care about. (“Standing up” might mean writing a song.)
- Educate yourself about how current issues impact (dramatically) the world you’ll inherit.
- Make a hungry person a sandwich.
- Learn a meditation that empowers and soothes you. Legitimize yourself, your sense of belonging, your sense that we all belong.
Wait, can you sum that up?
Sure: The world is a lot bigger than you, and yet it relies on you as part of its health and sanity.
Don’t lean away into a future that might not come to be.
Let these months be intrinsically good, for no other reason than they are all you have.
Be just a little bit morbid to light a fire under your butt. (I really recommend this. It doesn’t make you get diseases at any faster rate than your average person).
And Then What?
When the college letter comes, you’ll be as ready as you can be.
You’ll open the letter, and it will say what it says.
Did you wait, or did you live?
So write about how you spend these months, and contact us to let us know how it went.
We love posting teen-to-teen suggestions. You usually have better ideas than we do, which is why we love you.
Meanwhile, look at that image down there of those kids in their joy in the water.
Don’t just wait; relate. Don’t just wait, educate. Don’t just wait, enter through your own gate.