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Oh! Just Be Yourself

"Write about your interests," they say. "Write about the programs you've attended," they say. But it's not that simple. It's never that simple.
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As time nears September, the stress-free summer months will be both a distant memory and something to look forward to after the next school year. For many students, this cyclical process of "going to school for breaks" won't be broken until the end of senior year. Regardless, we all look forward to that carefree summer without packets and required literature.

But for me as well as thousands of other high school seniors comprising of the Class of 2014, we have a stressful first half of the year awaiting us. Struggling to complete the Common App as well as other supplements will be the one of the many things on our minds, our busy schedules, and our wallets.

The mysterious college admissions process will be yet another thought in our hectic minds. We reflect on the past 12-14 years of education and activities, wondering whether our mediocrity is enough as we compare ourselves to thousands of other applicants for the college we dreamt of attending -- ever since our parents instilled in us an excellence and a need to succeed.

College admissions counselors as well as seasoned application veterans of the previous year impart with us the simple, yet worn-out advice: Just be yourself. And be honest, but don't be too honest. "Write about your interests," they say. "Write about the programs you've attended," they say. But it's not that simple. It's never that simple.

We also have to worry about being seniors, the concept of it -- especially what freshmen will see and think when they walk into the hallowed halls of my school building. I vividly recall coming in to high school and seeing these tall skyscrapers of people trudging down the halls to meet up with one of their friends. But now as the tables have turned, I can only imagine that seniors aren't that much more mature than their freshman counterparts. Sure, they are more knowledgeable. But will the incoming class respect us in the way we did to seniors as freshmen?

We are seniors who are expected to have such an awareness of ourselves comparable to that of a graduate student. We are seniors who are expected to have the writing ability and proficient use of rhetoric comparable to an emerging author. What's expected is great, but seniors somehow manage to pull it off every year.

But as the colleges begin releasing their application requirements and we decide whether we want to retake standardized tests for the last time, we can only expect to do what we've always known. Write our hearts out and hope for the best. Why? Because we've already prepared for the worst and prevailed.

Do you have any thoughts about this article? Comment below or tweet at me! @thetli8

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