The College Journey (Feat. Actual Footage Of My Face!)

It is so good to be back, my friends.

I’ve been ghosting about for several months, reading all the posts and keeping up-to-date with all the blogging news, but it’s just not the same as being back for real, you know? Now I can shower you afresh with my wisdom, I can throw bombs and chocolate in the air like a maniacal gnome, I can drown you in Jack Sparrow gifs to my heart’s content! Aren’t you excited?

As you probably know by now, the main reason for my Very Abrupt Disappearance in February was because of… college. I am, in fact, seeking a higher education now that the incredibly stupid and overhyped high school are coming to a blessed close!

#yaycollege

I doubt you want to hear about it – I happen to know that most of you have chosen the path of blackest rebellion and most glorious freedom by bypassing four years of noodly professors telling you things you already know from Google, crippling student debt, and a repeat of all high school’s drama – but I actually need to tell you so that you can cry with me in the comments because… these past months have been hard, okay?

-JANUARY & FEBRUARY-

Some of you might remember that right before I left, I was screaming with happiness about the Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang and moaning in pain about the horrible Winter Flu that had rendered me incapable of doing anything but lay on the couch.

Well…

It turns out, that’s where my auspicious college journey begins.

You see, I had a plan. Because Kate always has a plan. For everything. From the time that I was twelve years old, I had been making lists and drawing those step-by-step charts of how the rest of my life would go. (I think that, at the time, I was planning on getting married the day I turned 18 and adopting exactly twenty children from deepest Africa? My priorities have shifted slightly.) 

The time to apply to colleges was drawing near. In fact, it was long overdue, in my opinion. I’m the type of person who would have liked to apply to colleges in my sophomore year of high school so that I could pick out and mentally decorated my future dorm room! But that was not to be, and I knew it.

The key to getting to college at all lay in biding my time quietly and not stirring up argument before absolutely necessary.

By January, it was absolutely necessary.

So I quickly and deftly began pushing toward my long-cherished goal. My ideal result was to have applied to my top three college choices by the end of January at the latest.

Then disaster struck.

Or, to be more accurate, the flu struck.

I was incapacitated for several weeks — in no condition to be staring at bright screens, breaking my pea-sized brain over confusing questions, or emailing an admissions counselor fifteen times in one day, saying the same thing over and over again until they finally caught my drift.

The months of January and February slipped away and I had done nothing.

-MARCH-

Back on my feet and freaking out because I was way behind schedule, I worked double time in March.

I applied to colleges and answered all the ridiculous questions and wrote intense 200-word essays about my dream in the hope that my passion would be so contagious that the admissions team would accept me on the spot. I emailed the well-meaning but ultimately annoying representative who seemed confused by homeschooling in general, the color blue in particular, and what Clydesdale horses look like for no reason at all. I dotted and crossed and doublechecked and clarified.

I begged for mercy and received none. (They were fresh out.)

Apparently they needed proof that I had completed high school, gotten decent grades, and was a real human being. I could do this. I sent them all the necessary documents and felt mingled frustration and pride at the officiousness of it all.

A second demand, however, was less easy to accommodate.

They needed a test score. You are probably familiar with the SAT and the ACT. I had heard of them, of course, but never taken one. As it turns out, I should have. It would have saved me weeks and even months of stress and study. But I didn’t know that it would be a requirement — I thought I could slip by without it. (Life hack: don’t be me.)

And now it was an emergency. I needed to turn in this score in order to be accepted.

So I did my research and stressed and settled on the CLT and stressed some more and found that the first opening was May 19.

May 19?

Seriously?

That was two whole months away! I couldn’t wait that long and I certainly couldn’t expect the college to wait that long. They were going to kick me out before I could be accepted, I was sure of it.

Alas, there was nothing to be done…

I would simply have to wait.

 

-APRIL-

April was a fun month.

To start things off right, I sliced my foot open. Conveniently, the director of the play that I’m currently in was eagerly waiting to see the dance sequence I was in charge of choreographing.

Then there was The Day Of Death And Waffles. The day I stood on a perfect white sheet in my socks and almost cried. The day my dreams felt more real and close than they ever had before. The day my brother watched me perform with something like surprise and admiration in his eyes. The day we all ate dinner together — waffles and ice cream and potatoes and scrambled eggs and bacon. The day I laughed and felt like I belonged there.

A day I immediately added to my short list of Perfect Days.

The day ended, leaving a happy glow of hope in my heart, and I continued the wearying journey towards college.

I got sick again but was determined to show up to the rehearsal. You will be happy to hear that my foot did not start bleeding all over the place and that I only felt in danger of passing out from sheer exhaustion five times.

#yaysickness

In April I studied trigonometry for the first time and burst all my brain cells in the attempt. Now they are all dead and I cannot add two plus two. I also worked feverishly to brush up on last year’s geometry and cursed my Sherlockian habit of intentionally discarding information I think I “won’t need any more.”

In April, I remembered that I am, in fact, a writer. I made a halfhearted attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo and fell in love for the one hundred and forty-seventh time with my firstborn novel. It has, admittedly, undergone too many surgeries to count but I’m excited about the latest updates!

In April, I was rejected and my heart broke.

-MAY-

This is me.

 

 

(Am I even remotely sorry for that small deception? No, I am not.)

You know what I hate?

Emails from random official-sounding men who tell you that your test has been canceled and that they are deeply sorry for the inconvenience.

You, sir, know nothing about my inconvenience.

I was freaking out. I was angry. I wanted to write a nasty letter and a bad review and maybe, for good measure, head on over to the CLT headquarters and slash some tires. Set fire to a building or two.

They gave me zero notice! What was I going to do now? All the earlier tests I could have taken were no longer an option — the first test I could schedule was on June 2. Which meant, of course, even more waiting!

I hate waiting.

But, if you know anything about the Indomitable Kate, you know that I roll with things pretty well. Sure, I scream melodramatic movie lines and write dark poetry in my journal and cry until my eyeballs itch.

But only for one day.

After that I’m ready to move on and complete the next task that will get me closer to whatever it is that I want.

So I quickly decided that my anger was completely impotent and if the college was so annoyed by this extra delay that they kicked me out of consideration — well, there was nothing I could do about that. 

I could only wait for June 2 and hope desperately that everything would turn out okay.

As it turns out…

The test was rescheduled.

For May 19.

May 19?

Yes. May 19.

Disaster averted, friends! (Except that in my despair and frustration, I may have stopped studying trigonometry…)

In May, I stopped worrying. Because worry doesn’t actually get you any closer to your dreams and it doesn’t pay any bills and it doesn’t raise your children. Besides, it’s not fun. At all. So what’s the point?

In May, the future felt close and tangible and exciting. I decided to become the living embodiment of Poppy and be an adorably determined firecracker. If poisonous spiders take me out, I will trust Branch to come and bail me out. (But I don’t know anyone named Branch, so…?)

In May, I re-choreograhped my dance scene. Three times.

In May, I started blogging again! Most of the posts were horrible but everyone was very polite.

In May, it rained. And rained. And rained. And rained a bit more. As always, I love thunderstorms! But I hate what they do to my allergies.

In May, I will graduate! I am getting so close I can taste it. One by one, I’m finishing each subject and checking off the boxes. I am so ready to finish high school and close that rather disappointing chapter of my life for good.

In May, I will be doing senior pictures. (Which is so strange and surreal? How am I this old? How am I that kid that parents weep over as they send them off into the big world all alone?) We live next to this gorgeous park full of pine trees and my highest aspiration in life, currently, is to throw a bunch of pine cones in the air and get a picture of them all showering down on me. I am not, by the way, one of those teenagers who Aggressively Hates Everything when Mom pulls out the camera. I’m stoked for picture day!

In May, the waiting will be over. Finally!

~~~

There, I’ve told my sob story. Now I’m tired of talking about myself and want to hear about you for a change! What have you been up to lately? Which of your numerous writing projects are you currently working on? How is it going? (Are you editing, like me?) Is it going fastly or slowly? Are you planning to go to college after high school? Are you already living the #RebelliousLife and doing your own amazing thing in the post-highschool years? Oooooh, and tell me if you are graduating this year so that we can be nostalgic buddies!

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