It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas. Not any other non-denominational winter celebration. Not even that stupid holiday that we doubt the legitimacy of but don’t ask questions about since it gives us a three day weekend. I’m talking about college app season.
If there’s one thing that can turn friends into enemies, slackers into neurotic sharks, and normal teens into obsessive College Confidential freaks, it’s the all powerful application. We try to keep it under wraps, but it’s a pretty widely known fact here in a magnet high school that if you listen closely enough, you can hear the ghosts of students Past, Present, and Future professing their willingness to do anything for Harvard. Especially their willingness to cut down the competition. Just say the number “1600” and watch the kids swarm like a plague of locusts, buzzing incessantly as they demand to know, ‘Who? What testing center? What date? Are they even smart? National merit? Valedictorian? Am I still better than them?’ Just like the seasonal icicles hanging from the roof on Christmas morning, there’s something cold and vaguely threatening about the amount of peer and college-related stalking that happens this time of year.
Of course, I don’t mean to say it’s all bad. The cure to all disease is just around the bend as kids search desperately for something more to write on their resume before that fateful deadline. Similarly, diversity continues to be actively promoted school-wide as kids scour their family tree in hopes of being one five hundred and twelfth Native American. Not only that, but forms of community service that are off limits for even chain gang prisoners can easily be performed when they’re thrown upon the shoulders of the frantic college applicant. Despite questionable motives, no one can deny that some kids receive a convenient byproduct of results for their efforts.
But enough ranting – perhaps I should end with a real lesson. (Disclaimer: this is entirely for the benefit of the colleges that may or may not read my article when deciding whether or not to use my application as kindling–no need to read further if you’re only here for the jokes.)
Remember that college is an experience that will allow you grow and develop as a person, regardless of where you go. Every admissions officer will tell you that the most important thing of your application is a translation of who you are as a student and a person. If you take this advice, all you have to do is be who you are today – acceptances will come later.