These Walls Are Too Thin

Okay so like I’m really not down with capitalism, but mostly because I know that for the next 10-15 years of my life, I will be living in a tiny apartment with very little living space and shared oxygen with many roommates. Having siblings, I can deal with the roommate part, but the biggest thing for me, especially right now as I temporarily live in a teeny-weeny college dorm room are these damn thin walls.

If there’s anything that really defines me, it’s that I have this super active imagination. It was definitely a blessing and a curse, if anything. On the one hand, I could tell a vivid story or get lost in the possibilities of what my life could be like. On the other hand, the mind of a middle school girl ripe with puberty hormones just cannot contain the fantasies I had about random boys I had crushes on — from conversations to romantic date scenarios to the ol’ dot dot dot…. (ok that came like around end of high school, don’t worry fam). Point is, I love speaking these things out loud, by myself, like I’m having a conversation with someone except it’s with my dream personality and I’m doing ALL the talking. I like to call it Outer-Monologuing, and I OWN it. But the key to outer-monologuing is PRIVACY, as in NOBODY ELSE gets to hear about the fake conversations I have with my only semi-attractive British neighbor literally in the room across from me. Meaning nobody else can hear the bitch-ass takedown I give to the person who wronged me in the 4th grade. It’s my fake personality, but when you’ve got walls so thin that your neighbors can hear you and think you were on the phone with your long-distance boyfriend, it gets real awkward. Real. Fast.

It’s not just my fake personality that I like to air out in my rooms. Sometimes you just have to air out the dirty laundry. And yeah, sometimes I do actually need to air out my dirty laundry because it piles up and we can’t all be perfect, but I’m talking about spilling the tea here. The fact that “tea” autocorrects to 🐸☕️ on my phone should help with the context, but honestly if you don’t understand spilling the tea, you’re probably not going to understand that brilliant emoji combo. ANYWAY, I shamefully love gossip. Not celebrity gossip, too blasé, but gossip about people I actually know and have established dislikes for is like actual crack cocaine for me. But guess what other FAVORITE PASTTIME is ruined by these damn THIN WALLS! You can’t gossip if you live next to Sarah who’s best friends with Alex who’s cousins with Rachel who could spill the hot gossip you screamed in your room about a Susan. It’s just not right and it’s just not fair. (The moral ambiguity of it all is not important here)

But you know then there’s the big kicker of thin walls being able to HEAR THE SEX IN THE ROOM NEXT DOOR AT 2 AM.

So yeah I can be all narcissistic and pretend that I’m super annoyed with all my introspective bullshit I have to put on hold…

But really, it’s the sex.

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A Look Into the Final Minutes of Common App Hysteria

Please excuse the interruption of your daily scheduled programming for this public service announcement.

I just did the absolutely unthinkable for a college-bound high school senior, finishing 4 college applications in just ONE day, with one being in under 20 minutes! For the record, these four schools were the following: Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Tufts, and Williams. My plan was to finish approximately 10 schools out of the 17 I’m applying to (Yeah, you read that correctly, 17) over the entirety of my winter break, which started on December 24th and ended January 1st. My plan was going well in the beginning as I finished my applications to Brown, Cornell, UPenn, Duke, etc. but after December 26th, I began to get sluggish. There were a couple of days where I didn’t even open the Common App, which I instantly regretted the morning of January 1st – after a hard night of sparkling apple cider and margarita mix shots #drinkresponsibly.

Thus arriving at the last resort, 12 hour, desperation essay plan. The original plan outlined a day solely working on applications for Columbia and Carnegie Mellon, initially ditching Williams and Tufts. As per usual, I started off great, researching unique things about Columbia and outlining the essays before I tried my hand at crafting them into written masterpieces, but I was soon distracted by other ventures, quickly derailing from the 12 hour plan as I was attempting to figure out the DNS settings of this website and whatnot. Fast forward to 4 pm and I have nothing done for Columbia and nothing done for Carnegie Mellon. I decided to switch my efforts towards Carnegie Mellon since they only asked for two essays as opposed to Columbia’s 6 (or what felt like 15). I surprisingly hammered out Carnegie Mellon by 5:15 and was in such a rush that I was able to finish Columbia by 8 (with many snack breaks in between). By 8:30, I was bouncing around the house, still burning off the adrenaline rush from completing both applications in less than 4 hours.

But the night was far from over.

If there’s anything that bugs me about the Common App, it’s the little yellow circles that accompany incomplete applications. Wanting to minimize the ugly look of my dashboard, I somehow thought it would be a wise idea to just hammer out the Williams application. Mind you it is now 11:03, I’m off my adrenaline rush and was supposed to be getting my stuff together for school the next day. My trick to completing most of my essays was borrowing bits and pieces from old essays and making them fit the prompts, but Williams had to be different. I had to pick someone who I’d want to be the other student in a Williams’ “tutorial-style” class (see their application, I don’t have the energy to explain). I ended up choosing Steve Bannon of Breitbart News and spat out some cheesy essay about how we should approach argumentation differently than the media’s yelling and screaming at our opponents who happen to hold views that are polar opposites of our own to have some chance at correcting the pervasive issue of divisiveness in this country (I’ll let you all know how that goes, but I can surely say I’m expecting a big fat rejection from Williams… UPDATE 7/20/17: I got in through “likely letter” so yeah… I guess that crap worked). I managed to finish that essay in all of 9 minutes and was promptly beset with another adrenaline rush that could only be contained by – you guessed it – ANOTHER college application!

The time is now 11: 39. I open the Tufts writing supplement and skim through the essay prompts. I’ve done zero research on Tufts at this point, but I was on a mission. In my five minutes of research, I was able to write a pretty specific “Why Tufts” essay in 100 words that definitely had hints of generic sentiments I had in my “Why Brown” essay, but we’re not going for gold here. All of 7 minutes, time is now 11: 46. The next essay was about community in which I promptly copied and pasted my Duke essay about community. All of 2 minutes, time is now 11: 48. With the final essay, about why I liked my interests and how they contributed to my intellectual curiosity, I used an ultimate amalgamation of all of my different essays expressing my enthusiasm for the classics and how I fell in love with computational biology and how I make intellectual connections, blah, blah, blah. Luckily I was able to pull through with a completed and proofread essay by 11:56, but there was still one final challenge. Now, I didn’t even want to apply to Tufts in the first place, but after my Princeton deferral, I felt as if I needed to apply everywhere that even had computational biology as a search result on their website, yet here I was anxiously trying to submit in the midst of the final minute sluggishness of the Common App website. I managed to submit the writing supplement at exactly 11:58 pm, and just like that, my application was done. I’m still on an adrenaline high from that experience, which admittedly gave me enough energy to even consider writing this.

If this experience teaches anyone anything… it would be to do your college applications in the summer and finish them as early as possible because this was definitely not healthy.