Waiting to exhale


The glowing screen was swirling with words that flowed into sentences and sentences that blended into paragraphs. I should have felt relieved, even joyous, that my supplemental essays were finally finished, revised, and ready to be sent.

And yet, I sat in front of my computer at 2 in the morning, reflecting on every phrase I used, every moment I referenced. From night to dawn, I sat in front of my computer just reading my supplemental essays over and over. I barely made corrections; my hand quivered over the mouse. While reading, I drifted over the sentences with my cursor, following the contours of the characters.

The fact that my essays were the only things I had complete control over made it hard for me to submit them. I thought they were practically done. I thought I had nothing more to add. And yet, I was hesitant to send them off. These essays carried the weight of my next four years. These essays have the ability to pull my application into the rejected pile or to inch it over to the accepted one. As melodramatic as it sounds, it’s true. While I no longer have influence over my GPA or SAT scores, I still had the pliable essays in my tired hands. At that moment, two days before the new year, I had the ability to change my essays, and even perhaps change my future.

Initially, writing my college essays consisted of hastily writing every idea that crossed my mind, putting together paragraphs, subsequently scribbling over these paragraphs, and blaming this cycle on writer’s block, all while on my commute to my internship.

Despite the looming cloud of unproductive effort, slowly and thankfully, my essays seemed to bring themselves together once I just sat down and decided to write. After stream of consciousness, many revisions, and a steady stream of sleep, supplied by the December vacation, I finished.

I submitted my essays on New Year’s Day, after picking through my essays one last time in the morning. I finally gave into the bright yellow button, labeled with the word “Submit” that beamed with some sort of pride.

I’m still holding my breath. And I won’t let go until April.