The College Process is one of those uncomfortable universal experiences to which everyone can relate. Laments about the terrors of CommonApp are always met with empathetic groans and awkward chuckles. Like a rough stage of puberty or an embarrassingly devastating breakup, everyone’s been there. And that’s the beauty of it.
Everyone I’ve met this year has the same reaction whenever The College Process (capitalizing as one would Satan) is mentioned: “Ugh.” It’s a nightmare that we’ve all woken up from, a terrifying beast we all somehow managed to slay. During those months of agonizing deadlines, we were all miserable. But looking back, we can laugh about it, just like the awkwardness of puberty or the 3-day mascara stains from the awful breakup.
That’s part of the fun of The College Process. Sure, actually being able to attend a university is a nice perk, but The College Process is one of those experiences that everyone can now bond over. We can jeer at the SATs like they’re some pop culture figure going through tabloid drama. We can calculate how many tanks of gas/Ramen cups/Chipotle burritos we could’ve bought with application fees.
So, let me break down all the hilarity we can construct around each aspect of The College Process.
SATS I feel as though there’s a collective notion among the students here that no one’s SAT was good enough (somehow, even the kids who got a 2400 seem to believe this). Obviously, that’s just not true, but at least we can all now laugh—not freak out—about that one less-than-beautiful score. It’s not like high school where everyone is interrogating each other about their four-digit number. Here, that silly score can no longer define anyone. We all got in, we’re all equals, we’re finally free from the College Board! Speaking of which…
The College Board httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBGWtVOKTkM Seriously, I don’t even remember my login anymore. There are no more obsessive examinations of fast facts and middle 50%s of scores. No more spam emails about ProCollegeSearch 5000 or Super SAT Practice Test App. No more PSATs! No more creepy cartoons of silhouette men holding oversized pencils, as if they’re just jubilant about everything the College Board stands for. Say it with me: no more College Board!
Admissions Decisions Everything fell into place beautifully for most of us, but we don’t need to pretend that decisions were 100% satisfactory. Everyone has that one bitter “I got robbed” school. Everyone sometimes wonders What if? about another college. But those other schools—regardless of how many applications we sent out—truly don’t matter anymore. But we’re all here now, and we’re all elated. Even the kid who thought they would never end up at College of XYZ is having the time of his life. I always opted to refer to Decisions Day as D-Day or Judgment Day; somehow I was saved.
Fees and Dues and Payments, oh my! Here’s a startling fact: during early January, I had my credit card number memorized from using it so much during application submissions. College comes with plenty of its own costs, but it’s nice not to fork over the monetary equivalent of 17.5 boxes of chicken nuggets and fries from UniMini just to be considered for a school. I’ll take the fried food, thanks.
There are so many little nuances of The College Process that were totally headache inducing, but to me, these were the most farcical. As a freshman, the college talk crops up a lot, but it’s not long before someone is cackling about an embarrassingly poor essay or an incompetent college counselor. All of the pains of The College Process is gone. And I’m happy to say I’m happy. I’m happy to say that everything works out.