Rufus suggests open mind during college process

Rufus suggests open mind during college process

By Ariana Etessami, Senior Writer

After months of grueling college applications, it’s weird to think that I will, in fact, be remaining a fixture in the glorious state of Maryland. Not in sunny SoCal, nor among the sophisticated French-speaking Canadians. Nowhere far, far away; not quite the escape I had imagined for my next four years.

For months, I convinced myself that I would be unhappy if I stayed here and I would only be satisfied with the freedom obtained through separation from family and the place I’ve called home for 18 years.

I guess I’m like any other kid, caught up in dreams of leaving her old life for an exciting new one, where every night’s a party and every day holds new possibilities and sparkling revelations.

Had I known beforehand that I would end up staying here, I might not have put so much time and effort into the whole process of applying to schools all over the country.

I would have saved money, not to mention closet space, if I hadn’t bought a sweatshirt from every single school that I visited.

I could have enjoyed the first semester of senior year just a little bit more if I hadn’t sacrificed innumerable lunch periods to endlessly scrutinize my college essays.

Had I known, I wouldn’t have applied to nine other schools that were either too far away, too expensive or would end up rejecting me.

But I couldn’t know. In fact, I had no idea where I would be headed until a mere few days before May 1, the anticipated college decision deadline. I changed my mind every day, each time finding a new reason to go to a certain school.

I even fully committed to one school before finally realizing that going to University of Maryland would be the best choice.

This is not to convince all of you underclassmen, still unplagued by senioritis and the glaring headlights of reality, to prematurely give up on your dreams and aspirations beyond high school. My bittersweet anecdote serves as a lesson to never assume anything about the future.

This process, like other major turning points in your life, includes countless unexpected twists and turns. No matter how much emphasis you put on this, there is really no way of knowing how everything will pan out. The whole process was surprisingly eye-opening (hello, rejection letters!).

So go ahead: apply to way too many schools, and stress over every little trivial detail in your precious college essays, because you’ll be glad you did it. Writing all those essays forced me to realize what I want to do with the next four years of my life and beyond, regardless of where I choose to do it.

Despite the inescapable regret that comes with every big decision, the college application process is something that we all go through together and ultimately grow from. Figuratively, of course. I’m still only four inches tall. Boo-yah, naked mole rat out!