Applying Myself…

June 18, 2009

Yes, I got those little notes on my report card when I was in gradeschool: “So-and-so is not applying herself. She’s a smart kid but itsn’t doing anything with it.” And here I am. Doing it again.


I got my ACT scores a couple of months ago. 35. Great, right? Not at all because now I’m getting the ever-irking question, “So where are you going to go to school?” I give them a blank stare and mumble something about keeping my options open. Noncommittal (see previous post). I go over my grades in my obligatory counselor’s meeting. The woman is an airhead. “Oh wow! You’re near the top of the class? So what are you looking at for schools? Any of the Ivies?” I grumble somthing and she’s obviously content with my babbling. “Oh wow! I didn’t know you were that smart!” Yep, I get that a lot. I don’t apply myself, so I must not be intelligent. I have fun, so I must not be studious.


But now’s when it’s actually starting to matter. Applications. Kill me now. I have a stack of folders sitting on the corner of my desk. Each is labeled with the name of a school, and the application requirements are written in hot pink Sharpie across the fronts of the folders. I’ve tossed a few magazines over the pile of folders so that I can’t see them from where I sit here typing. But I can still here Georgetown’s application calling to me. “FINISH ME, DAMMIT!” And I sit here and type and sip my Dr. Pepper and don’t fill out the application. I don’t apply. I don’t apply myself.


I think that the lack of motivation comes from my pessimism. A great quality, I know. My dream is to go to Columbia (the Ivy, not the art school). I haven’t the vaguest idea of what I would do once I get there, but all the same. I’m in love. The day I stepped onto the campus, I got that fluttery feeling in my stomach, and my heart began to pound. I was home, and I knew it.


There’s only one teensy, tiny problem: I have a teensy, tiny chance of getting in. I’m a suburbian from the Midwest who attends a small Catholic school that doesn’t stand up against the East Coast prep schools that other applicants are attending. And, even if Hell freezes over and I DO get in, how the heck am I gonna afford it?


And so I sit here and ignore my stack of applications. Because I don’t know what is going to happen, and that scares me. If I don’t apply, I can’t fail. And in my weird, backwards mind, if I can’t fail, I can’t be disappointed. Now how’s that for logic? I’ll be kicking myself over never having tried. But that’s what that stupid, noncommittal spot in the back of my mind is telling me.


What am I going to do with myself. As much as everyone wants me to, I can never be a doctor. I can’t. I would have to care and commit and try and APPLY MYSELF. So now what? Law school? Maybe. I can’t just sit around on my ass and write all day!