An Open Letter to the Common Application

An Open Letter to the Common Application

Maybe I'm getting too obsessed...

Dear Common App,

We haven't known each other long, but already I feel a bond between us. Whenever I have a free moment, I think of you. I pull you up on my laptop and just stare at you, so overwhelmed at your breadth and depth that I do not even know where to start. My column of check marks is the only testament to the small dent I have made in you -- your mysterious questions are still just that, a mystery.

You hold the key to my future; you allow me self-reflection, help me to analyze every word I've ever thought and give me the means to classify myself in a million different demographics. Somehow, I have boiled down 18 years of life into one, 650-word personal statement that I fed right into you. You know me better than anyone else.

But I feel like, perhaps, we are not right for each other. For starters, $65/application is so expensive; what do you even use that money for? Isn't that a lot to just send my questions somewhere else? Then you limit me to 150-word answers, sometimes even down to 50. If you're not going to listen to me and listen to ALL of me, why do I even bother answering your questions? And then there's the nagging - I log in, and my deadlines are red with clocks on them. I get it! You want attention! But you don't do anything to actually demand action - try emails, or texts or something. You constantly ask for my contact info, so I know you have it.

Ugh. But I am obsessed with you. I have dreams of you, clicking submit on my final application and seeing that beautiful line of green checkmarks. I see red text and I think instantly of your logo, and I now try your password in every other field that I need a password for - even that email which I have had since age 12 and definitely should know the password for. You're all I talk about with friends - where are they applying? ED or EA, or regular? And you are the one tab I never close. I could never.

Yet you stress me out; you're never changing, yet I can't ever guess what is next. I can't read you; your deep questions like "Why NYU?" and "Tell UVA what your favorite word is" are too much for me. And I feel like our relationship is almost too much at this point - you're constantly asking me for things, and I am relying on outside sources to get the end acceptances or rejections - you can't even follow through!

Maybe we need a break. This is too much - after November 1st, we're going to have to stop this for a while. I need to focus on my other homework and stop living an obsessive fantasy that is never going to work out...

But, of course, I'll see you January 1st.

Love always,

A high school senior

Cover Image Credit: Mom Blog

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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To My Little Sister, Don't Wish For Time To Move Faster, Soak Up The Stage Of Life You're In

Live in the moment and you will come out having no regrets.


To my best friend,

Time goes by quickly, do not wish it away. Enjoy living in the moment you are in right now because you will never get it back. Stop wishing you were in college already because you have so much to live for right now.

I know all you want to do is get away from home and start over, which is normal because I wanted to do the same thing at your age. But as your older sister, and as someone who has gone through that stage already, I am here to tell you that it is not all rainbows and sunshine 24/7.

With the time you have left in high school, enjoy every second of it because eventually, you will come to miss it.

Graduation is just around the corner for you and it honestly freaks me out how fast time is going. And it only goes faster in college. As kids, all we wanted was to be in high school and be able to drive on our own and once we hit high school, all we want is to be in college. With almost being in college for two years, I can easily say that all I want is to be a kid again. We have been wishing our whole lives away since we can remember. Enjoy today.

I see so much potential in you and I am beyond excited for what the future has in store for you.

Many times, you have been the one to give me advice even though I'm the older sister and this shows how caring and loving you are. Life is going to treat you so well and it already has.

There is one piece of advice I must give to you though. Make sure to thank mom and dad and tell them you love them as often as possible. I know they can get on your nerves and may make you angry at times, but they have given us the best life. You will learn in college just how much they love us and how much they have given up just to make us happy.

You have a good head on your shoulders and I know life is going to turn out to be exactly what you wanted. Just don't wish it all away. Some of my favorite times were when I was a senior in high school.

I'm always looking out for you so don't ever think you are alone in this crazy world. Remember, I am just one phone call away.

I love you so much sis, you got this.

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