56: The Most Important Subject

56: The Most Important Subject

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Getting In...To College

The Most Important Subject

The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.

~Richard Grant

My eyes start to blur as I stare at the screen,
They’re so sick and tired of this trying routine.
Click-Send-Click-Send, applications are done!
Finally feeling like the battle is won.

But it’s not—It’s only just begun.

Now I’m waiting and hoping and praying.
I’m constantly biting my nails.
I’m wondering what I’ll be saying,
In April when I get the mail.

Will I be an Ivy League girl?
Using words like “facetious” or “clout?”
I’ll watch my career unfurl,
As a chemist or lawyer, no doubt.

But wait — I may have a different plan,
That puts me at a state school,

Drinking beer from a can.
I’ll scream, “GO!” at the game,
I’ll pray our team breaks the tie,
With my arm wrapped around
My fraternity guy.

“Hold on,” I think now, of a place I could go
That doesn’t have frats or fans that scream “Go!”
And everyone isn’t pretentiously smart.
What if I just want to do liberal arts?
I could stroll on the quad with my hair uncombed,
Textbooks in hand, walking alone.
Birkenstocks on my feet, flowers in my hair,
Trying to make everyone in the world more aware.
“Peace for all!” I could scream, “Go green! Save the whales!”
At the front of the protest I’d stand, without fail.

Or maybe, I think, I don’t have to decide,
I could just be myself and go with the tide.
I could wait to see where I end up, at which place,
And not try in advance to be someone to save face.
I’ll make friends where I go,
I’ll have fun and I’ll grow.
Maybe learn bigger words,
Paint my face and scream “Go!”
Maybe go head-to-head with my political foe.

But all I can hope, as I wait for the letters,
Is that, wherever I go, my four years make me better.
I want to learn everything, I want a degree.
But mostly, I just want to learn about me.

~Madeline Clapps

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