The Senior Waiting Period


ACT, SAT, essays, and research for months on end. College applications, a process that I have been dreading for years has finally come to an end. I think I have been dreaming of being a second semester senior since the beginning of my freshman year. I would fantasize about it. “This will be why it was all worth it.” All of the pressure and stress that would feel crippling at times, all of those hours I should have been sleeping, but were spent studying, doing homework, or wasting my time thinking about the things that I should be doing. All of this, in the end, will have been worth it. Whenever school would get overwhelming, I would think to myself, “Just wait. Just wait until senior year.” Well here I am, a second semester senior, and I can tell you first hand that this “fantasy”, the fantasy that senior year is supposed to be a breeze, was one huge myth.
What many people have been led to believe is that once the college application process is over, then all of the stress that us seniors have been carrying for four years will magically disappear. But what everybody has failed to mention is the agony seniors feel during “the waiting period.” Oh, what is “the waiting period”, you ask? This is the time in seniors’ lives when they have already applied to all of the colleges they are planning to, but now must wait to hear if they have been accepted or not. And you may be thinking, “well that doesn’t seem so bad…since you have done everything you can do, it would be silly to stress about something that’s now out of your hands.” But that’s the thing…there is NOTHING I can do anymore. It is completely out of my hands, which is probably one of the most terrifying feelings to experience. During this period, I find myself questioning just about every aspect of my life. What if my common app essay was not good enough? Maybe if I had done a few more extracurriculars, I would feel more secure right now. Why did I let myself get such a bad grade in Geometry my freshman year!? That is for sure going to make those college admissions counselors laugh at my application.
Of course I know that many of these thoughts are irrational, but my mind cannot help but go to these places during this time. All I can do right now is sit here and wait for my fate. Just wait.
Lately, I have been having the same redundant conversations with my friends and family, and college related topics are the only things that anyone seems to want to discuss. How fun. My friends are getting into schools left and right, while my mother asks me when I hear back from my colleges like she’s a broken record. Seniors that I know are leaving “the waiting period” more and more everyday, and I envy them. They’ve committed. These people now know where their fate lies for the next four years, and now is when they can relax. Now is when they can look back at what they have accomplished and feel proud and satisfied. But me, I still have to wait. “Just wait”, I tell myself, “just wait.”