a few life updates a.k.a college apps

I’m currently typing out this post from the sofa, where I’m lying tired – from exactly what, who knows. I just tend to be tired these days – and thinking about whether to get up and get myself some peach juice.

(Update: I didn’t get the juice.)

This is the last summer I’ll spend as a highschooler, as I am going into my senior year. All my friends in China are already done with high school and would be going into college (Because I went to the States, the different high school system “held me back” a year.”)

This summer, I’ve been to the most amazing writing camp (shout out to Kenyon), kept up with running and started exercising (surprisingly), and am still writing a lot of college essays. It’s been nearly impossible to balance all these things and still write stories at the same time (except for my writing camp of course), and I’ve been feeling rather dried up creatively.

I’m writing my common app on writing (surprise!) and it’s been the hardest piece of writing that I’ve done (except maybe my novel).

(Here is when I realize and apologize for my exceptional overuse of brackets; I just can’t seem to stop.)

Summarizing, or rather, articulating what writing means to me and has helped me achieve is really difficult. You’d think being a writer, I would actually be able to write about writing. What is probably the hardest part is getting the word count under 650. I’m actually really good at first drafts, which basically means that I’m really good at throwing out everything I think and feel about one issue; unfortunately however, this isn’t the tactic to go with the common app.

Right now, after ten-ish drafts and many times annoying my friend to read them, I have a narrowed topic (I’m not going to say it here though), which is really fortunate.

This summer, I’ve also been watching a lot of YouTube videos, specifically, videos of people getting into college, getting rejected, giving advice, crying, crying happily, etc. As I watch them, I’ve learned to take everything with a grain of salt. Some people suggest that GPA is everything; some people say it barely matters at all. Some people say applicants have to be spikey; some say well-rounded. An international applicant got rejected from every school except for two, and said that the reason was he requested for financial aid. Being both international and definitely applying for financial aid, I got scared. But then again, grain of salt.

Next year is my senior year and I’m really scared. Being with the people I’ve called family for the last three years has been the best experience I could’ve ever wanted, and a part of me never wants to leave (the other part is begging me to fly far away). It’s high school, after all.

At my summer camp, a camper, I guess, read my tarot cards and told me I’m going to be isolated the upcoming school year. I said it sounded about right. What I truly meant to say was that I didn’t want it to be right. That even though junior year was the toughest year of my life I still loved so many of the people there. What I truly meant to say was that I suppose I don’t want to leave after all.

(We did this exercise in my writing seminar, where we had to write a poem, and once we’ve finished it, write “What I truly meant to say was” and keep writing until we’ve doubled the length of the poem. Surprising how we never say what we really mean.)

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