Querida Clara: Issue 3

How do I talk to classmates about applying to college?

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By Adrianna Peng

How do I talk to classmates about applying to college?

- Anonymous, senior

I, too, have picked up on the ruckus about this whole “college” thing. In fact, just a scant few days ago I emerged from my cave to go to The College Meeting, and WHAT DOES THE OFFICE TELL ME? I must fill out “APPLICATIONS” to get into these institutions! Suffice to say this doesn’t play to my strengths, such as my biceps. And now here these colleges are, telling me that “in the context of an academic environment” my extreme musculature is a no-go. Now I must write “an essay.” Feh!

Well, my friend, if my equivocation is any hint, what I mean to say is that you are right–– it is difficult to talk about college, even to our dearest friends. To reveal the specific names of colleges can feel like a jinx or simply an invasion of privacy, even to those who normally love to share the sordid details of their personal lives.

Yet at the root of it, why might it be that a person would ask another about The College? Long have I pondered. Here is what I think: October is the fall, and we are falling. But why are we falling? Because we have jumped!

College is that jump. And as we take the great leap, it is only natural that we seek another person’s hand to grasp during the plummet. Questions such as “How are the applications going?” don’t really seek the names of specific schools. Rather, these questions are outstretched hands reaching for another to hold onto in the great freefall.

The details of what manner of ground, what sort of campus we will hit after great fall are unknown to us all and not so important; what is certain is that for the moment, we seniors are all in freefall, and so we must feel free to grab one another’s hands and share what we feel as we plummet. By and by the plummet will feel a bit more like solid ground.