Wise words from a sleepless senior

Nov. 16, 2008, midnight | By Anika Manzoor | 15 years, 7 months ago

As my junior year came to a close, I promised myself that I would start all my college stuff over the summer. In fact, I went so far as to "start" on a recommendation packet (resume, questionnaire, college list, the works - juniors, expect to get these soon) before school even ended - the exact date was June 13, 2008. And that's how far I had gotten - name, date, typed-out questions. Nothing else.

Month after month, the document remained dormant until I realized that if I didn't complete it and hand it in soon, I would be totally and irrevocably screwed. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating, but that's how I felt then. So I pulled an all-nighter a couple of days ago, trying to finish the darn thing along with the tons of homework I already get on a regular basis. Yeah…don't do that to yourself.

Underclassmen, let me shatter some erroneous images that you may already have of senior year. First of all, it is not just this one big party. Obviously, I can't talk about second semester, but first semester just, well, let's say it is no simple piece of cake. If you're going to be a college-bound senior, chances are you'll be taking a slightly easier course load than in junior year but colleges still want to see you pushing yourself. Don't expect that you're not going to have any work at all and that you have plenty of time to work on college applications. Your teachers don't care about your workload now and they sure won't care about your workload later.

And let me tell you some things about the college application process. It is not a walk in the park. It's not just simply handing in transcript requests and test scores and reusing essays. Completing the college application requires you to constantly bug teachers, counselors and registrars, write endless essays and supplements and look and apply for scholarships. It takes forever. Even if you're applying to four colleges, you still feel inclined - or at least you should - to make your applications as perfect as possible. The stress and worry is just always there.

And here's another thing. If you're a normal teenager, chances are you are already acquiring this gigantic sleep debt. And chances are once you hit senior year, it's like you're suddenly trying to make up for all the hours - days - of sleep you lost in the last three years. So not only are you consumed with the piles of homework that followed you from junior year, the craziness surrounded by the college app process and the added pressures from the extracurricular activities and/or job that take up half your life, you fail to get anything done because all you want to do is sleep.

Seniors, it's probably too late for you. What's done is done and I guess all you have left to do is scurry around, trying to finish everything on time and resisting the overwhelming urge to take a weeklong nap. Or have a psychotic breakdown, either one. Just count down the days. It'll all be over before you know it - you hope.

But underclassmen, heed my advice and don't procrastinate. Easier said than done, I know, but it's possible. Make schedules and to-do lists. Finish all your work before you go out. Don't waste five hours looking at homecoming pics on Facebook - temporarily disable your account, if you have to. Please save yourselves while you can.

Anika Manzoor. Although she may look like a cute and innocent freshman, Anika is actually a SENIOR(!!), who kicks butts and takes names on a daily basis. But otherwise she's very friendly with a sunny disposition and a constant snarl - er smile on her face =D … More »

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