The Perfect Balance: Effort and Trust

Application after application…it seems as though the process will never end. Sleepless nights are no anomaly. What is all of this for? Well, it is to go to the perfect college and to hopefully create the perfect future! I am a rising high school senior and my life is being turned upside down by an ever increasing competitive environment in terms of college applications. So many of you might be wondering, why? Why is this girl stressing out that much? Well, it is almost as if I have to prove something to myself. After four years of hard work I want to say that it was all for something. I am not alone in this desire.

Thousands if not millions of students are competing for spots in the nation’s top colleges. From stellar grades to exceptional SATs to truly mind blowing extra curricular activities these students have it all! One might wonder if the students submitting these applications are actually students at all…I am only joking, but in all seriousness students are extremely impressive these days. With students who have 4.0 GPAs and 2400 SATs and millions of hours of community service, where does that leave the rest of us? You might think it is just hopeless, but it really isn’t. I am not here to tell you that you will get in to every school that you dream of getting into, but there is a place for everyone. Some college environments may be suitable to certain students whereas others are better for other students.

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An extremely introverted person may not do well at a huge school; a smaller program may be better for him/her. Certain colleges will not create amazing futures for you without your 100% effort being put forth. So, in a way, going to a school that is suitable for your academic as well as social needs is more desirable than a school that is just academically rigorous for you. After all, college is a place in which you want to make many memories. These four years should be ones that you look back at and smile.

You should be reminiscing 20 years into the future, not regretting. There is a future for everyone. Yes it is very cliche, but it is true. I guess what I am trying to say is that dreams can be achieved no matter where you are. A university doesn’t decide your future. Enjoy high school and just try your best to do what you want to do.

Even if you don’t end up at the college of your dreams, you will still end up somewhere that is perfect for you. My cousin was in this process almost 12 years ago. She was a stellar student in terms of academics and SAT scores. She had a variety of extracurricular activities as well. She didn’t get into any of her top schools.

Out of her numerous applications she was only accepted to two schools. One of them was the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan is a wonderful school, but it was not at the top of her list, so she was naturally disappointed that no other schools accepted her. She attended and ended up having the best experience of her life. She met her best friends there and just enjoyed herself.

She always tells me that she wouldn’t trade her undergraduate experience for anything. Amidst all of this she also kept a very high GPA and ended up attending Northwestern’s business school after her time at the University of Michigan. She is very happily married and extremely successful in her career. The plan that she had initially intended for herself was not what ended up happening. What resulted was something that enriched her as a person and shaped her outlook on the world.

Without trust life would be very hard. Work as hard as possible and do everything in your power to get into the schools that you desire. Have faith and trust that you will end up going to the best school for you. As I write these words I am trying to absorb them myself. It is very hard to dream big because then you are easily disappointed. In this way having low expectations is easier…Keeping that in mind the easier way is not always the better way.

Disappointment is always a possible outcome when stepping out of one’s comfort zone. Although, these risks and dreams that we indulge in shape us in ways that we can’t even explain. As I embark upon the terrifying college journey myself I will keep all of these things in mind. Life is full of ups and downs. It is how we react in those “downs” that really have the biggest effect on our futures.

Believe what I am saying because it will make your life a lot happier and relaxed. There is something that each of us is meant to do. While saying this I am not implying that if you do nothing you can still achieve your dreams. To make any dream a reality a lot of effort has to be put forth. With effort comes an immense amount of trust that things will work out. Trust and have fun in school; it is truly the only time that you are free of huge responsibilities.

To be frank, life is too short to be worried all the time. “Just go ahead let your hair down~” as Miss Corinne Bailey Rae tells us in her hit single, “Put your records on”…