How to get into Life (aka College) | Teen Ink

How to get into Life (aka College)

February 22, 2008
By FeedTheBirds SILVER, San Diego, California
FeedTheBirds SILVER, San Diego, California
6 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Wait, not even I know that.

College is the second life. Parents like to tell kids that college is the life. High school is petty social wars, bitter underpaid teachers (wait that comes in college, too), a four year experience that will be a gap in your memory as soon as you leave. Don’t we wish that were true. In fact, these days college applications start at birth. Colleges want to know everything about you, as if they’re looking for the perfect sperm donor to their collegiate womb. What have you done with your life since you hit puberty and could think without Mommy’s help? Exactly how many times have you saved the world? And your superhero name is?

The application process is everything and nothing like it’s said to be. They break you down as if you’re a Lego tower to be reconstructed. Orphaned: ten pts. (Sorry, Mom, I have to run you over so I can get into college). State soccer team: four points. Divorced parents: four points. Plays an instrument: seven points. Had a late growth spurt: minus ten points. In order to balance out this all-too sterile system (then again, who can blame them with millions of ‘unique’ students vying for a roster spot) there is the all-powerful College Essay. Tell us something about yourself that your application can’t. When was a time that you were proud? The ugly duckling and Martin Luther King Jr. walk into a bar…. in a 500 word essay explain what happens next? What is the meaning of life? (true question)

But don’t panic. All you have to do is Be Yourself. Every year college bound fledglings are sent off into the world with mace in their fannypacks and Be Yourself stuck to a laminated card next to their hearts, their own version of a WWJD mantra. Colleges want to know the Real Me. Great, I’ll introduce them after I meet the Real Me. They’ll have a grand time together while I play 52 card pickup with myself.

College, living in oak trees at Berkeley and peeing into a Pepsi can or defrosting your frozen buttocks at Boston, is the next tier. Community college, online college, ivy league way-too-expensive-for-life college. It’s all a new tier. All that overpriced junk that comes with it we have to suffer through, yeah, and maybe we’ll learn a little something about ourselves along the way.

Like, why didn’t I become a world class pianist like my mom wanted me to be in preschool? Blast, I knew I shouldn’t have been a normal summer school going teenager.

Lost: The Real Me. If Found Please Mail To The Following Universities. Reward. Thank You.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 8 2010 at 4:00 pm
FeedTheBirds SILVER, San Diego, California
6 articles 0 photos 82 comments
I hope people realize this was just a light hearted kvetch about the college process and its pressures.