Glenda Marshall: Death by college applications


Glenda Marshall received the Ventura County ‘Female Student of the Year’ award and will be honored on December 12 at . Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Glenda Marshall

For as long as I can remember, J.K. Rowling has been my hero and Harry Potter has been my favorite book series. As a little kid, I dreamt about magic, and, despite the absurdity of the idea, secretly hoped I would receive a letter from Hogwarts. When the day (which may or may not have been about five months ago) came that I finally accepted I was not a muggle-born witch, I gave up the hope that there was a magical world among our own, and proceeded to live my incredibly unmagical life. Yesterday, however, I changed my mind. I am 100 percent positive that there must be a supernatural realm because some monsters very similar to dementors are following me wherever I go. What are these demons, you ask? College applications. Slowly but surely, it is becoming quite clear to me that college applications have not only stolen my confidence, sanity, and social life, but are now sucking my soul right from my body, leaving me a lifeless, emotionally-drained heap.

If you think I am being dramatic, you are obviously not a high school senior. Everywhere I go, someone mentions college or applications and I immediately feel as though nothing I write or do will ever be good enough. I thought the battle between Luke and Darth Vader was stressful, but now I know what anxiety really feels like. Weeks and weeks of rewriting and touching up essays that I end up throwing in the trash has started to seriously drain me of all passion and energy.

The worst part is how easy these applications should be, and how utterly burdensome they are in reality. College applications themselves are not complicated, but the pressure of making them flawless adds at least an extra 48 hours of work and a good six months of nail biting. Nearly every essay prompt asks something along the lines of “Who are you?” which is a fairly simple and straightforward prompt. The only problem is that I don’t know who I am. I can’t even decide whether my favorite color is lavender or teal, so I have absolutely no clue how to describe the entirety of my being in 500 words. I stare at the computer for hours, but no matter how much I brainstorm, I crawl away feeling defeated.

I would also like to point out that I did not procrastinate on my applications. I actually started at the end of summer, but no matter how long I write and think, nothing gets done. Over Fall Break, I wrote 13 essays, all of which were either too cheesy, too generic, too broad, too cocky, too disconnected, too arrogant, or just plain bad. So here I am, still at square one, with application deadlines moving closer and closer. At this point, I really just want to curl up into a ball and bury my face in a huge pile of pancakes, but unfortunately, the only thing worse than being stressed is being stressed and sick, so I think I will have to stop binging on my favorite breakfast foods.

At first, I thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel, but then I remembered that even when I am done with college applications, I am going to have a million scholarship applications. Cue me hating life. My only consolation is that my dad finally installed wifi, so I can now work outside while simultaneously hanging out on my trampoline. I know that is pretty pathetic, but it’s the little things in life, right? 

What do you think?