The Last Stanz: A Realization

Costanza Maio

A little background for my readers: I promised myself that I would only spend one of my columns this year on college, and what better time to do so than this month – when I, along with many other hopeful seniors, hear back from EA and ED schools? I wrote two different entries below, on two different nights, with two different mindsets. Hopefully my conclusions will be slightly eye opening and uplifting – if anything, they will be entertaining and possibly slightly uncomfortable. So, without further ado, ladies and gentleman, from the diary of Costanza…
Friday night: In my eyes, it was the Fateful Day, because at three p.m. on this fine day, my Early Decision school posted its decisions online. After a scary click of a button, I was kindly told that I had been deferred. I sat in my seat for a little, just thinking. More than a month ago, I clicked the submit button on my application form. I remember staring at the computer screen in utter disbelief when the page showed only a simple “Thank you!” on a plain, white canvas, instead of the rewarding, colorful fireworks display that I had been expecting. After the shock of finally being done one application, I surprisingly forgot about it. But on Monday of this week, reality suddenly hit me in the face: Friday was finally almost here. Something about this date, December eleventh, seemed so mystical. And the time, at three o’clock sharp, was almost too precise and too exact to be true. For a week, I imagined all of the possible scenarios, and they played continuously in my head like an excruciatingly frustrating three-scene movie. Then, finding out the answer was everything – a high, a surge of emotions. I was a little disappointed at first. I heard the results of others, and carefully observed their dejection or their elation. Afterwards, a realization: I was proud of myself. I was proud of everyone. Whether we had been rejected, admitted, or deferred, what did it matter? I was positive that every one of us would end up leading successfully happy lives. Who knows where we would be next year?
Saturday night: Despite my positive thinking the night before, I now had some difficulties with my college choices. I was afraid to make the wrong decisions – my Early Decision school had everything I wanted, a compromise of all sorts. But now, what if I took a wrong turn? What if I missed an opportunity? It was scary to think about the possibilities. It was scary to feel that kind of pressure. I talked with my parents, letting out these fears and insecurities. Something was obviously amiss in my thinking; there had to be a way to be certain of myself and of my choices. With their help, I had a new idea: although the level of education varies amongst the institutes to which I am applying, the person going there is still the same. It is always going to be Costanza Maio going to college, wherever that may be. This means that while the location, the people, the professors, the activities, everything about the college will be telling of the experience, I will grow and learn and enjoy every second of the experience, anywhere and everywhere it takes place. This might seem a bit obvious – even a bit cliche – but it is the truth, and something I had not understood. But now I do.
College is only college. As my parents told me, the most important decisions come after college, not before. So let’s take some of this incredible stress and pressure off. We can do this. For those of you who have been accepted to college, even if it is not your first choice: congratulations! For those of you who now have a million more options at your fingertips: congratulations! Next year, it seems to me, will be extraordinary, wherever you are.