College Decisions for High School Seniors: Where am I supposed to go now?

Hey high school senior, if you just received a rejection from your top-rated school (or even if you got in), this one’s for you.

This blog post goes out to all the high school seniors waiting for their final responses to roll in or deciding on which college to attend. It can be one of the most confusing times ever. But sit back and hold tight, do I have a story for you.

Alright high school seniors, I know you worked so hard, spent countless nights, sacrificed good times, went to war with your mental well-being, to get into a good college.

That’s the dream yea? Get into a good college, study something that you like (or at least you think you’d like) and get a great job afterwards.

Let me give you a little insight into the human mind, nobody knows what they’re doing. Not me, the 29 year old writing this blog post, not your parents, or your family members. Nobody knows what they’re doing. We take it step by step, day by day: one decision at a time and hope for the best.

So put your social media down for a second, take a break from the mental stress of choosing your future, and tune in for this story…

The year was 2010…

Once upon a time there was a girl named Heena. Naaaaah I’m just kidding, it’s not that deep 😂.

It was February and I was about to get my braces off, applied to colleges and had yet to hear back from any of them. NONE OF THEM y’all.

Look at this high school senior beauty in a bandni shalwar kurta

And of course, everybody else was hearing back from colleges (albeit social media wasn’t as prevalent back then), but it was all any of the seniors could talk about. Obviously.

So I did what any normal senior waiting for college responses did. I got out of my home state. I left Florida and took a week off to go visit my best friend in Texas. I couldn’t take the impending stress and (what I thought at the time) utter DOOM that would be my college responses. We spent some great quality time together and watched 1D in concert, ate lots of hot cheetoes and drank waaaay too much Coke.

When I got back from the trip, I had a few responses from colleges: I had gotten into a few and been rejected from a few. PHEW, at least I knew I was going to college next year (even if it was my safety school).

The next month in March I was waiting for my top school: Brown College. I worked hard throughout high school, learned the fine art of caffeine through coffee and energy drinks and used to stay up until 5 am every night trying my absolute best (lets talk about how unhealthy this was in another post shall we 😅).

And the day finally arrived. There it was in my inbox, the email I was waiting for. Brown College: An Update on Your Application.

My hands were shaking so fervently I could barely click on the email. But I opened the email and lo and behold……. I didn’t get in. That was it. There was no more hope left for my top choice. I.didn’t.get.in.

I was devastated. I didn’t go to school the next day and spent the entire day bawling in my room. I worked so hard, I WAS SUPPOSED TO GET IN. If they could only see my potential like I saw my potential and how hard I worked. Does this mean I’m stupid? Does this mean I’m not good enough? I knew other people that got in, why didn’t I??

But it was no use, I couldn’t bear the feeling that I had been let down by my faith and the universe. Thankfully I had great friends who came over that weekend and helped cheer me up (PSA: Sorry to my little sister for ruining her birthday party with all of my friends showing up that weekend 😂).

Mac Laptop with stickers, blue backpack, and moleskin with writing on it and a ruler. Photo by @mattragland from Unsplash.

Decision time!

Aaaanywaaays, fast forward to April and I was making decisions on which school to attend. I debated between 2 schools: the University of Miami and University of Rochester. After looking at Rochester’s program and visiting campus, the choice was easy: the University of Rochester (or Rochacha!). I knew I wanted to leave south florida, so I was taking my talents to upstate NY.

While at Rochester, I pursued my different interests in Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion. I ended up choosing religion as a major and am blessed to have had the education of a great program and amazing professors .

It was later in my major (around sophomore or junior year) that my mind was BLOWN 🤯. One of my favorite professors (Brooks) was chatting about the person who created the religion department at Rochester: “Yea, he created the religion department here but then left us to go to Miami. He’s at the University of Miami now where he created a similar religion curriculum as well.”

Dosts, my jaw dropped 😲. Looking back at my time as a high school senior, it looks like I was choosing between the University of Miami and University of Rochester, where I would have gotten very similar educations in Religion (which I ended up going to grad school for). When I tell you that I had to physically pick up my jaw from the floor, I wasn’t kidding.

So high school seniors, this is just to tell you that: yes, you may not have gotten into your dream schools. And it may have been devastating. And that’s completely normal to feel.

BUT there is a light at the end of the tunnel and everything really does happen for a reason. Jo bhi hota hai acche ke liye hota hai (loosely translated: whatever happens, happens for good).

I can’t WAIT to see all of you be the best versions you can be.

Hamesha/always,

Heens ❤️

Psssst, I’d like to point out and reiterate that I am not a mental health professional and this is not a form of therapy. These posts are based on my experiences and helped me in my journey. There are local websites available for professional mental health services.

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