Hey guys! Jessica here. I decided to do a little something different today, because we've been all over the place blog-wise because of senior year and school and college applications and all of that stuff. (Amber's actually on a current blog hiatus so she can focus on that stuff right now.) There are a lot of bloggers out there that are our age and can relate to this, and there are some that are younger and wouldn't know much about it or are older and have long forgotten how rigorous the process is. So I'm basically going to get a little ranty for a few minutes, so bear with me. :-)
One of the most frustrating things about the college application process is that you get different answers from everybody you ask. I've asked my guidance counselor questions regarding aspects of applications, and she'd give me one answer. I'd inquire from a friend, and I'd get a totally different answer. I'd ask another guidance counselor in my school and she'd tell me that no, both of them were wrong, and that the "real" answer is blahblahblah. (This is incredibly ironic especially because all guidance counselors are supposed to give out the same information regarding college.) So it's frustrating and rough to know that you can't really ask anybody any questions, because you can't be positive that the answers you're being given are correct.
You have so much to do and such a small amount of time to get it done. Amber and I spent all summer being totally active on the blog, posting every day, and finishing 3-4 books each per week. When senior year was about to start, we knew that getting back into the swing of things was going to be hard. It always happens when school starts again. So luckily we prepared and scheduled a whole bunch of posts for the first two weeks or so of school so we would have content to put up while we actually adjusted to fitting reading and blogging into our extracirricular, school, and homework schedules. We forgot one thing, however: college applications.
Since I'm applying to all of my schools by November (and Amber is applying to some of them by then, too), we basically had two months to get everything done. That time frame got cut short when we realized that people were already handing in applications, so maybe waiting until last minute wouldn't be the greatest decision. So my life was basically this on repeat:
1. Wake up
2. Go to school
3. Stay after school for a club/extracirricular meeting
4. Go to work
5. Walk in my door for the first time since 7am and eat dinner super fast
6. Run to either Youth Group/Homecoming Floats Building/Another Extracirricular
7. Come home
9. Do homework
10. Study for tests
11. Have about half an hour to myself
12. Collapse in bed of exhaustion at an ungodly hour
And #11 - the half hour to myself - was usually spent reading about ten to twenty pages of a book. I didn't get much accomplished. I definitely didn't have any time to blog. And the that half hour to myself became use that half hour to research colleges/work on applications/apply for scholarships. So before you know it, I wasn't even able to squeeze in any reading time at all. It was super terrible.
So we both got stressed. Amber realized that she was in over her head and decided to take a break until around Halloween, when things slow down and will be much easier to manage. I'm still doing my best to read whenever I can while going to work and getting my schoolwork and college applications done. You know the expression "there aren't enough hours in the day"? That's literally how I feel right now and it's driving me certifiably crazy. It took me four weeks to finish one book that I started the day before my first day of my senior year. It has never taken me four weeks to read ANYTHING. But when you have to squeeze your reading time in to a 15-minute increment each day, that's what happens.
One piece of paper (or a single digital page) determines your entire future. I know that college applications give you an entire section to list your extracirriculars, and you get to write a personal essay, but I still feel that isn't enough for an admissions officer to get to know me. And that makes me:
I mean, take this very blog, for example: It's on my college applications, as it rightfully should be. It's a big part of my future career, and I'm very passionate about it. But how am I supposed to explain that to somebody? How does The Book Bratz fit into any of the given categories - Club, Sport, or Charity? How? It doesn't. I feel that I'm supposed to force everything I've ever done in my life into organized little columns and there's so much more to me than that. I want the admissions officers to know things about me that a pre-designed application can't tell them. I want them to know that I'm up all hours of the night working my hardest to study for tests. I want them to know that I dedicate every ounce of free time I have to making sure The Book Bratz is something special that people will love. I want them to know me as a person, not as some name on a paper who has an activity sheet filled out. Those things are part of me, but they don't define me. And that's what bothers me.
There's also the fact that I'm supposed to choose my school and entire future career before I'm even a legal adult. Yeah, there's that. That doesn't need much explaining. It's just stressful and scary.
So if you've managed to stick around my ranting post for this long, I just want to thank you. I know that this isn't really book-related at all, but I know that I've been Tweeting about this a lot and everyone's been curious about why Amber's been on break for a little while. The truth is, the college application process is stressful. People always warn you about it, and you brush it off thinking you can handle it on your own just fine, but the truth is that you can't. My advice is to rely on those guidance counselors, parents and friends. They may not have all the answers, or any right answers for that matter, but it never hurts to have somebody proof-read your essay or look over your application with you to make sure that you entered everything correctly. This is a super daunting and stressful time to juggle things in your life, but if you work hard while still managing to keep your wits about you, you'll be just fine.
Comment down below and tell me your thoughts on the college process! Have you been there, had kids who've been there, or been waiting for your turn to be there? Let me know!