Clio’s Histories: The College Process Begins

Alice Knowlton, Writer

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Have you ever gotten an email from some underwhelming college in upstate New York or perhaps South Carolina that begins “I’m impressed, Alphonse” or “we want students like you, Roberta” or “we’re glad you’re interested in our Anthropology of the 1990s major, Clarice” and wondered what they really know about your personality and interests? Well, I’ve been getting a lot of “you’re a free thinker, Clio”, and “we know the sheep incident at TJ Maxx wasn’t your fault, Clio” and “check out our Russian studies program” emails, so I think I may have cause for concern. Colleges seem to be lightly stalking me in their bloodthirsty quest for applicants. They know my addresses, both home AND the secret karate dojo. They even know my real name. I’m not about it. If I was going to be swayed by a single overly smarmy email I’d already be down at Tulane University eating shrimp on a sandwich and playing a brass instrument. I am genuinely afraid of whatever manic Mardi-Gras fueled pitches I’m going to be subjected to in the near future from that apparent bouncy house of New Orleans spirit and fun.

I have at last been dragged kicking and screaming into the very beginning of the college process and the very end of at least 70% of my hopes and dreams. Yes, I have those too, or I did back before I knew what a scattergram was. Anyone who thought I could deal with important decisions and a major life change gracefully was clearly on Mars the day I changed my eyeliner from liquid to felt tip. It’s not that I’m not excited about college, I’m just not all that excited about college. I feel like a dog that knows it’s going to the vet, only instead of shots and strange creatures in carriers I’m expecting essays and applications and visits. It’s not a pleasant thing to be confronted with in February.

February is the only month when you can be deathly ill with the flu and mad that you’re single all at once. You can also slip on ice and step in a puddle on the same desperate dash to your car. It’s horrible. It’s so horrible that all the good complaints are taken. Nevertheless, I will admit that this is the holy time for one very important reason. This is Girl Scout cookie season. I’ve pretty much been living Girl Scout cookie to Girl Scout cookie for several weeks now and I would not trade the joy it has brought me for anything in this world. I need the Girl Scout cookie rampage to keep me going in the midst of dark cold ominous semester 2 junior year February. When colleges come emailing pretending to know and care about who I am as a person and horrible gremlins of swiftly passing adolescent years whisper directly into my eardrums such awful words as maturity, degree and career, when I’ve been so sick and feverish that I hallucinated Leonard Nimoy twice, I need my Girl Scout cookies to raise me up from the depths of pain and horror and shine upon my undecided path a light of sugar and hope. Thank you to my dealer. You know who you are. I owe you my life.

I’m willing to owe you my soul too if you’ve still got some Samoas on hand.

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