by Taylor Wallace ’21
It’s a Saturday afternoon and once again I’m staring at my computer screen trying to finish my Common App essay that is due in less than two weeks. The words in front of me are a jumbled mess of phrases and ideas that seem to be determined to not connect. I’ve had a topic for months now and have it basically envisioned in my head, but for some extremely aggravating reason, I simply cannot seem to make my thoughts make sense. The fact that we have to convince colleges that they should accept us in a mere 650 words is honestly so scary. And it doesn’t make it any better that I’m on a tight schedule now. Flashback to July when I told myself that there was absolutely no way that I’d be doing my essays at the last minute. Well, here we are now, stressed out, rushing to get it done so I can enjoy my life again.
I think that all along throughout this process, deep down I knew that it was going to go this way. And to be honest, this might be for the best. Hear me out, this way though it is more stressful, it’s more me. Most of my best work gets done at the last minute, racing against the clock with RedBull coursing through my veins. If I had done my essays earlier, I would not be able to experience the satisfaction that comes with finishing something after having a breakdown a few days before, thinking it would never get done. But if I’m being completely honest, I would be lying if I said that a part of me didn’t wish I had done them at least a little bit earlier.
Here’s the thing. The reason why my essays still aren’t done isn’t that I’m lazy, or I just forgot about them. It’s the fact that I can’t seem to get my brain to work. I don’t know if it’s that I can’t organize my thoughts or the fact that I procrastinate when the ideas don’t flow the way I want them to. I’ve come to the realization that I procrastinate because in my own sort of way I’m a perfectionist and would rather just not do it all rather than produce a bad product.
And what’s most aggravating is that I don’t understand why this has been so hard for me. I actually enjoy writing and I was excited to write this essay. Months ago, I was so pumped for the opportunity to show colleges who I am through my writing. You know, I thought this was my time to shine. And now, I would literally rather do anything than write them.
What I think happened was I drove myself crazy trying to find a topic that could tell a summarized version of my whole life (in 650 words or less) which upon further observation I realized was impossible. And even though you can literally write about anything, it’s just hard to make sure it says enough about you. Like I could talk about how I was aggressively obsessed with the band 5 Seconds of Summer for a period of my life, or how I have an addiction to chapstick, or the deep spiritual connection I have with the color blue. But what do any of these things say about me other than the fact that I’m crazy?
Since I’m having such a hard time trying to express myself to colleges, I thought I’d take the time right now to give a few reasons as to why they should accept me. Reason 1: I can get along with all types of people. I have a very diverse group of friends and I love helping others. Reason 2: I’m probably going to be famous one day, so if they want me as a notable alumnus, they should just accept me now. Reason 3: I worked really hard throughout all my years in school while also balancing doing a high-level sport, being the funny one in my friend groups, and constantly trying to find new ways to become famous. There you go. Three solid reasons to why I would be a stellar addition to every single college in the world.
Ok honestly, at this point, I am strongly considering just submitting this as my Common App essay, even if it is 800 words. Like, it’s not that bad of an idea, right? I mean, it may come off as a little complain-y or whiney or narcissistic by hey, you know what they say, with great risk comes great success … maybe.
To conclude this rant about I don’t even know what anymore, I would like to say good luck to all my fellow seniors with their college applications. My advice to any non-seniors would be to definitely start your essays early and if you don’t, know that you’re not alone. Ok, that’s all for now; I need to go work on my college applications that I’ve been avoiding all day.