College is the Equivalent of Death, Debt, and the Annihilator of my Life

The aura associated with college is severely wrong. People all told me that college is a blessing.

They said it that is going to take me further in life, opening up new passages giving me a sense of dignity and respect for myself. It’s all one lie after another. All the thought of college has done is kept me up from sleeping, like the creaks in the night that won’t allow you any rest. Then the next morning, and throughout the day, all you can focus on is what those creaks are, and how to get rid of them. Soon enough, you’re paranoid and all that matters is those creaks. I kid you not, junior year the stress of all my AP classes and the figuring out how atoms bond together, atop with the pain of being a teenager left me up at one am pulling my hair out just wanting it all to be over.

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The stress doesn’t go away in the morning though either. Your parents, family, teachers, even complete strangers ramble about college. It’s an unannounced dictator that only pardons those strong enough and smart enough to endure or run from its feigned and at the same time undeniable power. The stress of being a teenager is all a scapegoat for the continuous panic attack of getting ready for college. High school doesn’t help. First, I persistently work day, evening, and night in high school, all for a piece of paper that will entitle me to another piece of paper.

I took Japanese, which sucked. Not that Japan is bad and all, but three alphabets and a teacher who isn’t in the right time era would drive you insane too. And then, when I decide I’m done after Japanese 2, my guidance counselor tries to convince me to take Japanese 3 because I’ll get a gold sticker on my diploma. Wow, a gold sticker. I think I can buy my own gold sticker and personally place it on the piece of paper I traded for my childhood. What else have I done to earn a better piece of paper? I took AP classes, which made me feel stupid and never good enough.

Every other week I was writing lists of 100 vocab words, true story. I was studying day and night, for a piece of paper. Paper, that’s all it is. I’ve spent Saturdays in unknown territory, waking at ungodly hours that no human should be awake for, to take a five hour test, that numbs my body and sends my brain on overkill. You know what else I’ve done for a sliver off of a poor tree? I’ve been applying, to these greedy paper establishments that demand I’ve dedicated my whole life to being up to their standards. And then, they make me fear their rejection.

And then, when I thought it was all over, nope, it was not over! It all starts with the messenger angel who delivers your scores of apparent worth coming down with a virus, so that took a couple weeks until my colleges could make judgment off of nine numbers. Then, after the stress fearing I would be faced with ultimate denial of my life, I’ve been kept waiting. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting for my responses. And when the responses came, guess what they earned. A smile. That’s right; I traded a good chunk of my life, for the entertainment of a measly smile forming on my mouth.

And when it comes down to picking one college, ugghhhhh. First of all, their prices make you wonder if the extra you earn from a piece of paper goes to pay for your glass encased paper all along. Seriously, $16,000 a year to keep me in a building, force me to study and give up hours of my time for a piece of paper?! Aside from the cost, I have to pick a major. How can I possibly pick what I want to dedicate my next sixty two years to in four years? There are so many options! Should I argue with people all day over numbers? Or maybe deal with children and adults with bad breath, and decay rotting through their teeth like a virus. Maybe I’d like to cook all day, so that someone can declare they have had better. And on second thought, who needs a degree to cook? In the end, it’s all for the pursuit of paper.

The smallest sliver of a tree, a scrap of nature’s flesh.