I have been looking forward to college since my first day of high school. However, as my Junior year comes to a close, I am feeling a wide range of emotions. There is excitement at the prospect of independence, new experiences and people, studying what I am interested in, and exploring a new city. Yet, fear, competitiveness, and stress dominate many aspects of the college process. Furthermore, the idea that I will be leaving the comfort of my high school, family, and community terrifies me. It still feels like I am a kid trying to figure out my place in the world.

These mixed emotions, coupled with the desire to make the most of my senior year, have caused a decline in motivation. I have so many responsibilities that it feels pointless to commit to anything, and I often find myself wanting to abandon all of them and hide away in a cave. I am also increasingly excited about college applications, as high school feels more tedious and frustrating the closer I get to senior year. With the end of one’s Junior year of high school comes the realization that soon, everything will be different. Even though the change will be wonderful and worthwhile, it also means leaving behind everything that made you who you are today.

Obviously, I am in a weird place mentally. After speaking to many of my friends, I have come to the realization that most second-semester Juniors go through this period as well. In the end, I think the period is essential in developing a concrete sense of self and confidence in one’s college decision. These emotions are important so that we can move on and appreciate the time that we do have left with the people we love. They are a normal part of growing up.

I am trying to channel these emotions into making my senior year a fantastic one. The best advice I have gotten in regards to these anxieties is not to let your senior year go by before it starts. Cherish every moment. Breathe. Spend time with your family. Take risks. Don’t get too caught up in the stress of college apps, IB and AP exams, and standardized testing to appreciate the small things. In the end, we will all end up where we are supposed to and we will all make the most of our college experience.

Love always,