Longtime no see! Let’s kick off my return with a “Daily Post” prompt.

It has been one month since my last blog post, but I assure you, there has not been a lack of writing. My hiatus began when school began, and with that, an onslaught of school writing assignments and essays, along with the slightly more painful college essays.

I want to talk about college applications. Oh wait, no I don’t.

I want to talk about self-trust. Last year was junior year, or as some people affectionally call, he11 year. I won’t deny that academically, things began to get more challenging for me, but I knew I could get through it. How? because I had developed a work ethic over the last few years that allows me to get 8-9 hours of sleep every single night, wake up early enough to make myself avocado toast in the morning, and juggle school with extracurriculars.

My friends would tell me that they slept at 2am and they’d just know that I disapproved without me saying anything.

What I was doing was working for myself. I trusted myself to get everything done and remain mentally sane.

What changed this year? I’m now in a constant state of low-key panic. College applications are the beast they are because of the expectations, the stress surrounding an uncertain near future, and also the sheer amount of things to do in each package you send off. The pressure gives me the impression that nothing less than perfection can be acceptable. I feel like I’m not allowed to tell colleges of any mistakes I’ve made without a justifiable explanation or some deep lesson that can be expressed eloquently. The things that I’m writing for colleges are polished and politically correct, but I prefer the raw stuff. I don’t know which is better, but the latter feels more real to me:

“I prefer playing pianos with a heavier touch weight to the keys because I feel like I’m engaging in more of a physical experience when I play. Leaning the weight of my body forward to reach those fortissimo notes is more satisfying to me than turning up a volume knob on a keyboard.”

That’s what I want to tell people. Instead, colleges want to know that I’m on the high honor roll.

I’m frequently sleeping at 3am or later nowadays because I’m in the middle of writing an essay and I don’t want to interrupt the flow of productivity. I wake up 10 minutes before school starts and barely get dressed before I run out of the door, sans breakfast. I’ve begun carrying audio recordings of textbook chapters into the shower with me so I can study at all times of the day. Even while I’m being productive, I panic about not doing things in the most efficient manner and I panic about not sleeping enough.

Remember when I said a few paragraphs ago that I didn’t want to talk about college? Remember how the rest of this essay unintentionally became about college? These blog posts are raw, real and unabashedly, me and my thoughts. And I’ve just revealed that there’s a little monkey in my brain that’s constantly panicking about college applications.

That source of calm that carried me through last year stemmed from an assurance that I could balance all of my responsibilities and get everything done. I’m not sure if I still trust myself to do those things.

I like my life. I’m surrounded by good friends, good food, and amazing family. I just wish it would slow down sometimes so I would never take them for granted.