As a senior in high school, I’ve gotten very accustomed to certain statements and questions by now. If I had a quarter for every time someone said “Wow, how are you already a senior?” or “Counting down the days till graduation?” I’d probably have enough money to pay for all my textbooks next year. However, there’s one question that if I were to profit from it being asked, I would likely have my first year’s tuition covered:
“Have you decided where you’re going to school next year?”
For any of you who are curious about my response to that question, my answer is no at this point. I’m currently deciding between Wheaton College, which is just a half hour away from home, and Messiah College, which is located in the Harrisburg, Pa., area. They’re similar in size and merit, but different in distance and offerings, which makes my choice a challenging one.
I usually say as much when I’m asked the “college decision” question, ending with a smile and some cliche statement about how excited I am for whatever awaits me after graduation. In all honesty, though, I usually respond that way to cover up how much that question scares me. The college decision is a big one, and I want to make sure that my choice sets me up for the best possible next four years and beyond. That being said, it unnerves me a bit that we’re almost to April and I still don’t know where I’m going to college.
I know I’m not the only senior who hasn’t decided on a school, but in the age of social media, sometimes it feels like I am. With so many other students announcing their decision, repping collegiate merchandise and finding roommates, it can be frustrating to be stuck in the decision-making process. I don’t want to rush into my choice, and I want to give it the thought it deserves, but it sure would be nice if the answer was spelled out in flashing lights across the sky one of these days.
What I’ve been reminded of time and time again, though, is that maybe there’s not necessarily a right answer or a correct choice in this particular situation. Perhaps my favorite analogy came from my former math teacher and current Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader Mr. Estabrook. He told me that the college decision is like choosing a piece of chocolate from a big box. There are so many types of chocolate, and each one is different from the rest. You might find out you prefer one flavor over another, and your eating experience may vary from piece to piece. However, at the end of the day, no matter which one you choose to taste, you still get to eat a piece of chocolate and that basically guarantees it’s going to be good.
I’m confident that no matter which college I choose, I’ll have an amazing experience and that takes off some of the pressure of the decision. Stay tuned in the next few weeks as I make my decision, and while you’re at it, consider if the box of chocolate principle could apply to any big choices in your own life. After all, I think dessert metaphors make everything better!
Emma Chrusciel is a senior at Geneva High School. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.