The College Ball


United States
64° 58' 56.4348" N, 146° 10' 0.5952" W

My senior year was stress incarnate,
struggling to stay straight-A,
terrified of graduation date,
striving to maintain 4.2 GPA.

The best and worst time of my life,
fearing my failure, waiting for it.
AP art was joy. AP Bio was strife.
Couldn’t believe I won Letters About Lit.

Five hours of sleep every evening,
my failure, my secret knowledge
and random bouts of grieving
Would I go to college?

The bright lights of a tournament.
Our robotics team won Inspire,
to Beaver, Venetie, Saint Louis we went,
but losing homework time was dire.

The deadlines closed in. Time advanced.
The cold repressed feeling of panic
as failure and success twined in dances.
I wish I could have ignored my persistent hope.

“Cogswell, California,” I told everyone.
The truth was we couldn’t afford it.
Not enough scholarships had been won.
I dropped the ball.

“A gap year is good,” they consoled me.
I took on a part time job
and established some sort of normalcy.
Failure complete.

Grief, loss, anger,
acceptance came at last.
Time to shake off this fear and sadness
and learn from the mistakes of the past.

I apply for that dream school I swore was out of reach.
I’m accepted; my heart could burst.
Scholarships and grants I beseech.
Finally, I’m awarded one from FIRST.

Sunlight comes back to Fairbanks.
The time has passed to mourn.
Friends, family, teachers, coworkers – thanks.
Earnest hope is reborn.

“Digipen, Seattle,” I say with confidence.
I will need loans and more than one scholarship.
I no longer fear, but accept the consequence.
Thank everyone for their support and friendship.

Will I go to college?
Yes, I have the passion and motivation.
“Your life is an occasion; rise to it.”
My future will be a standing ovation.


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