I cried on Thursday afternoon. They weren't tears of sorrow or tears of joy. They weren't tears of excitement or tears of confusion. On the contrary, these were tears of apprehension. My AP English teacher had given us the UC admissions essay prompts.
It's funny, really, how a simple piece of paper with a few words written on it can shape your life so greatly. Upon gazing at the prompts that could make or break my UC admission, I was overcome with a sense of dread that I hadn't felt before. I didn't realize such trepidation was etched on my face until my teacher looked at me and said, "Don't worry so much. You'll do fine." Surprise, surprise, those words did nothing to console the racing beat of my heart. I looked around the room and to my dismay, it seemed like I was the only one who was so distressed. I took a deep breath, attempted to regain my composure and proceeded to search for the paper I had so hastily shoved deep into the depths of my binder.
As I took the crumpled sheet out, the thoughts rushing through my mind were overwhelming. I was confused as to why I was having such an averse reaction to a simple essay question. It wasn't like I hadn't written an essay before--quite the opposite, really. If I'd done rather well on essays in the past, why should this one be any different? After letting the UC questions sink in, my teacher directed the attention of the class towards the white board where there were eight different columns, all labeled with the different topics from the prompts. For the next thirty minutes, we wrote. We wrote and we brainstormed, erased and devised ideas. It wasn't until the bell rang that my english teacher dismissed us, releasing our aching brains and heavy hearts into the crowds of blissfully unaware freshman, sophomores and juniors.
When my feet no longer touched the carpet of the classroom, it was as if a switch had been turned in my head. The tears started flowing and since I didn't want my friends to worry, I walked away from my group, ignoring the questioning looks and the passing glances. I allowed my feet to carry me and ended up in the only place I knew I could find peaceful solace--the baseball fields. After making sure no one had followed me, I found the hole in the fence that I had used in so many instances in years past and made my way to the dugout. I sat on the bench and gazed at the beautiful field that the baseball dads and coaches had so lovingly created. Everything about the school baseball field was flawless. The grass was carefully manicured, flaunting a shade of green that only existed in postcards and the dirt on the infield was immaculate, surrounding pearly white bases and a picturesque mound. I took another deep breath and inhaled the scents of the scene around me, instantly feeling relieved and relaxed. All thoughts and worries about college had escaped my mind, leaving me to enjoy the moment and the memories the field had brought me. After a few minutes of tranquility, I stood up and decided that only one place would help me in my time of need. With a last glance at the field, I crawled through the opening and rejoined the real world. Weaving through crowds of freshman, groups of sophomores and throngs of juniors, I made my way to the Career Center to get help on organizing my life.
At the beginning of my senior year, it seemed like baseball would be inconsequential in my journey to applying for college. I was afraid it would become a distraction made for a time and a day when finding a university didn't occupy my every waking moment. In the past month, I hadn't watched a more than a game a week. My days were filled with AP homework, college prep books and meetings with counselors that provided no help or hope. I had overlooked my baseball life in attempts to prepare for the most nervewracking months of my life, getting ready for college applications and admissions essays, reccomendation letters and scholarship searches. My life had become a place devoid of the greatest passion of my exsistence and filled with panic aimed at what was yet to come. My little adventure to the baseball field made me realize that shutting out the things I loved and overanalyzing my college situation would only bring about many bitter moments surrounded by panic attacks like the one I had experienced on Thursday. With that fact in mind, I set aside my college search and went to the baseball game Friday night, fully hoping I would be able to set aside my worries and allow myself to enjoy the game with the fervor I usually possess.
I didn't realize applying for college would have such an impact on the stability of my heart. Being at the Coliseum last night helped me rationalize and put my situation into perspective. While I was watching the game, I became conscious of the fact that I would drive myself to the point of insanity withing two more weeks if I didn't stop worrying so much and start asking for help when things seemed too stressful. I understood that even though I was working so hard right now, eventually it would all pay off. And you know what? I know I'm intended to do great things. College is just a step on the way to my destiny. :)
This was just a long diversion from my essay. How exciting.