Natalie Sharpe Presents: My final words

Photo by Nina '16

Photo by Nina ’16

Let me assure you, reader, that the past few months have been the strangest of my life thus far. For the past six years, I have been hearing legends about second semester senior year when grades don’t count and the bells of freedom ring painfully in the distance. What I did not expect is the explosion of repressed angst that is the very last fourth quarter. College rejections made for an identity crisis. I sobbed and punched pillows, emoting until I could not emote any more. I never realized how much my own self worth was derived from how well I lived up to my own expectations based on some idea of who I thought I was.
For the last few months, I have been trapped by time and left nothing to do but think. Not the usual, Marlborough how-do-I-math-type thinking, but instead some quality time dedicated to tapping into the root of my soul. I started reevaluating how intentional of a life I’ve led and I made some changes. I cut off my long hair. I stopped wearing bras. I became a vegetarian. These may sound like the classic symptoms of an affected adolescent who needs to find a more original way to reinvent herself. But these impulses were anything but surface level – immediate, necessary, and deeply visceral. After hours of spacing into oblivion and dry weeping to “Seasons of Love” from “RENT,” I started to see that the only person who can measure my self worth is me. I do not need admissions officers to tell me that I am enough. I do not have to ask a person or institution for permission to be myself, and I certainly do not need to form my identity around what other people want me to be. As Ke$ha famously muses, “We R Who We R.”
At Marlborough, we like to say that we work hard for the trusted light at the end of the tunnel – the prestigious college that will afford us all the right opportunities to have the right type of life. As you go through Chem Honors quizzes and AP week and ACT cramming, try to hold close to your heart a purpose that really means something, because an acceptance to a brand name college can not make you whole. At the end of the day, all of the hours that I put in were for me and not for anyone else. The work that you do and everything you learn is yours, and no one can take that away from you. Give yourself the credit that you deserve for the work – you didn’t work hard for those colleges or for your parents, because you and only you holds ownership of your ambition.