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College Bound 2012
by Elizabeth Horner
The end of this school year is almost here.  I feel honored to be asked to be the flag bearer in this year’s GSH commencement.  Somehow, at this time of the year, I find the after effect of stopping and reflecting on the things that have happened during the school year soothing, especially after my mind is content with the plan I have for the next leg of my academic journey.  Next year, I will know for certain which college(s) has/have accepted me but right now, it is hard to imagine the amount of time I spend in college preparation related activities.
 There was P-ACT and P-SAT tests, then ACT with Writing and SAT plus subject tests.  I have completed the list of the schools I want to send an application to which required a lot of research and preparatory communication, to come up with this list.  If you want to apply to a competitive school, I urge my peers to start preparing now.  If I apply to all 12 universities that are in my list, it is going to cost my parents a lot of money, since one application is around $65 - $75 dollars, plus $10 for each school to receive a copy of each test score. There is a fee waiver in most of the colleges if one needs financial assistance. And as soon as the school opens in the fall, I will be bugging some teachers and my school counselor for letters of recommendations.  There will be essays to write and my personnel profile to prepare.  There will be interviews and completing forms, most of them due no later than November.
But part of my reflections this year is not just about my college choices but also making some sort of resolution for the future in other aspects in my life.  Humans have free will which allows us to make our own choices and… our own mistakes. Sometimes things get tangled up, but I believe that as long as I learn the right lessons from those mishaps, it could actually be beneficial to my future. Mistakes sometimes make one a better and stronger person, and allow you to glean insights and wisdom otherwise unavailable to you   I think it is very important for us, yours sons and daughters, to learn to mull over on what we have done well, as well as what we have failed to do.
            If you have read some of my previous articles, you know that I am a young person with lofty ambitions who has set her eyes on an Ivy League School.  With that comes commitment to invest my time in activities that will get me there. I understand the effort and responsibilities my dreams weigh upon me, but it is something I honestly want to pursue, and am working hard to achieve.  This is something that I've been thinking and researching about since fifth grade, after an essay in my language arts class lead me to thinking about college education.  Having visited several of their campuses, I am more assured than ever that my dreams are worth fighting for!  While academic performance is an important part of the requirements, it is not all about grades.  It is equally important how I can demonstrate that I have the potential to effect change --- to make a difference.  The best way I know how to do this is to share with others what worked and did not work for me as a student and as a youth preparing to take my place in the world of adults.  I am exerting my best effort to do that primarily through using the power of the pen, writing articles.  I hope that you will visit my pages. I am now a syndicated columnist with Global Nation, Inquirer.Net; Mega Scene; Asean Tribune and of course, I will continue to write for our local newspapers if they welcome this young voice.  I have also agreed to lead Darke County's Teen Scribes.
            I have mentioned this in my previous article, but I like repeating it.  When I was a library aid at Greenville Junior High, in Greenville, Ohio, there was this quote on the wall that I read frequently --- and the words engraved themselves into my brain, "Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars" by Les Brown.   I think kids are like seeds.  We do need some nurturing and the right environment to increase our odds of sprouting beautifully.  And even if we miss the target, there is also the chance that we may even go further and achieve something greater that what was originally aspired for.  I hope that this community will continue to support us.  Good school, good education is important to our growth!
Even if I don't make it to that university of my dreams, please be assured, I will not be devastated. I believe that there is more than one path to a destination. Still, I am going to try ---- and I think that kids should have the opportunity to pursue what they want out of life, guided by the kind wisdom and reassuring hands of adults of this community.  And I will not forget my promise to return home, to give back to this community --- to do my part as an adult to help your grandsons and grand-daughters get ready to take their place in society!

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