Being an upper classmen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I mean, sure, it’s better than being a freshman and far preferable to the invisible anonymity of sophomore year, but things were so simple back then.
We all just grow up so fast…
I seem to remember high school feeling like it would never end, as though we were just slowly parachuting down to our future. Now it’s suddenly become a terrifying free fall towards colleges and SAT’s and scholarships.
That’s the big one: College. What was once just a far off inevitability has now become a very imminent and unlikely thing. We get bombarded at school, and in the mailbox, and online, with deadlines and scholarship offers and tuition information. Questions that we haven’t even thought of are demanding answers and I just wish for one second I could slow it all down. Take my time in high school. Forget for a day that I’m going to be out in the very real world and am expected to not only survive, but flourish. To walk into the jungle and walk back out with diamonds. I just wish I didn’t have to be thinking about all this right now.
And yet, I’m glad. I’m excited for college, to be out on my own and see how I do. I enjoy making these big life decisions while at the same time I’m terrified about making the wrong one. What do I know? I can tell you the equation for the area of a circle. Explain the proper format for an essay. I can request more information, fill out applications, and peruse college websites. But can I sell myself in a short essay? Live on my own? Get a job? I would be fine doing this on my own time, I’d rather just not have to do it on top of everything else.
In that great whopping pile of everything else is the single most terrifying thing known to teenkind. The high school student’s greatest enemy (excluding our own self-consciousness, homework, and algebra). The teenagers natural predator… Oh, wait a minute, it’s not what you think. I’m talking about the SAT.
What’s the SAT you ask? Well let me tell you my fortunately inept friend. The SAT isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just a set of some two hundred questions and a short essay for which your answers will become a pivotal role in how your life plays out. Sounds important you say? Right you are.
It’s pretty much my worst nightmare come alive and dragged out for a grueling four hours, and I’m not even one of those kids who normally worries about tests. I’m the kid who doesn’t study and gets decent grades anyways, so I tend not to concern myself with cramming my head the night before. But this has me worried. Nail biting, we-don’t-know-if-he’ll-make-it worried. A test that determines whether you’re good enough to do what you want to for a living.
Utterly. Devastatingly. Terrifying.
And I’m taking it in March.
So to any lower classmen reading this who are lamenting your sluggish high school days and envying those of us planning our college lives and our escapes, I have one thing to say. In saying this one thing I realize the fact that you won’t understand until it’s too late, that you’ll take it for granted anyways, and that I run the risk of becoming a social pariah for using one of the most overdone clichés known on this planet, but I’ll say it anyways. You don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone.
Oh, that was way worse than I thought it would be.