I pulled my trashcan close to my bed, because I thought I was going to vomit. I told my dad that I would decide by morning which college I would be attending next year, since my deposit for one of the schools was due on Friday. I made lists and flipped a coin several times, but I only managed to make my throat feel tight, like it was being pulled by a finger trap toy. I went to our back porch to smoke and drink milk, and I felt disgusted with myself. Why was I being such a drama queen? I mean, where you go to college is a big deal, as I learned by suffering for a full school year for the mistake I made the first time around. But after seeing the trailer for this Tina Fey movie (to which I give like 10 eyerolls), I’m sick of feeling like applying to and choosing a college is a grand cinematic journey.
I fell asleep after emptying the milk carton. The next afternoon, when he looked like he was about to talk to me about it, I yelled at him: “DON’T ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS.” I ran up to my room and repeated everything I had done the night before, but this time, before I went to bed, I left a note on the counter telling him I had chosen Bard. I picked that school after my brother told me to not “be embarrassed about what makes you happy.” When I visited Bard and Smith (the other school that accepted me) back in April, I liked the vibe more at Bard. “Leave me a check so I can mail the deposit today,” I wrote. “Stay cool.” Then I went to bed, my stomach still in knots.
The next morning I woke up in a panic. I called my dad to tell him I had changed my mind. I had convinced myself I liked Bard because of its aesthetic: It’s dark, surrounded by woods, and the students are, for the most part, impeccably dressed. It was #beautiful like the Mariah Carey and Miguel song (and just like Mimi and Miguel) but my romantic view of the school somehow made me want to forget everything I liked about Smith, which is where I ultimately decided to go. After I called my dada second time, I was excited—I unloaded the dishwasher in maybe 60 seconds, spent hours trying to memorize the campus layout, and even used exclamation points in texts, which is soooo not my jam. ♦