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Most students, actually – most people – go through an awkward phase in their lives. Whether it lasts through high school or stops after 6th grade, we all go through those years that we look back on and say in horror, what was I thinking? It was a time period where you wore the most unflattering clothing, or had an unhealthy obsession with a TV show, or had uncontrollable hair. We rarely admit these things to ourselves, because it is human nature to move forward and pretend the unpleasant things never happened. Maybe I am too young to reflect back on my life – after all I’ve only lived for 16 years. Although if you really think about it, that’s quite a long time. Long enough to learn three languages, travel , try new things, lose a grandfather, make friends, lose friends, scuba dive, read books, write books, paint. Long enough to laugh about the way I looked in 8th grade, with my frizzy hair and tiny stature.

Long enough to understand that the future isn’t some far away thing anymore, it is happening right now. This time next year I will be graduating from high school, that’s a distant concept that still has not reached me.

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I’m sitting here eating frosted animal cookies with sprinkles on them, and I’m starting to doubt my maturity level for college. I still laugh at dumb jokes and I’m amused by YouTube videos about cats. On the other hand, I just successfully resolved an imminent five year old brother’s temper tantrum that could have been the beginning of World War III, and that takes ingenuity.

It’s hard for me to let go of the little voice in my head that stops me from revealing a lot about myself. It’s much easier to hide behind sarcastic remarks and snide comments regarding how people write about family tragedies and “finding yourself”. Why do I need to find myself? I was never lost. Regardless, I’ll let my guard down for a few paragraphs.

Speaking fluent Hebrew at home and visiting my family in Israel every year since I was young has given me a different perspective on life. The ‘American way’ of living is only one way of seeing things. Growing up in two societies has given me the ability to see things from different angles, and to make up my own opinion on things, not just assume that this is how things “should be”.

I know enough about myself that I can hate and love myself at the same time. I love my friends and helping them out, I love that they come to me for help for all sorts of things. I have a sheep dog that has dreadlocks and my room has green walls. I like photography, ceramics, and animals. I adore reading and watching movies. I can be a complete “teenage girl” sometimes and other times I am watching all the Lord of the Rings movies in a row and reading sci-fi novels. I am your average college applicant and a distinctive person at the same time.

I’m not scared to leave home, I am probably the most excited I’ve ever been in my life. I won’t ever be ready though, but no one is ever ready, and that’s the point. That is why we pack up our things and say goodbye to our parents – for new experiences, people and places. So in a way, I am ready for college right now, I am ready to be unprepared, knocked off my feet and blown away; to be scared and nervous and excited. I do not know what I am going to study, or what direction I want to go in. But I know the things I like, the things I hate, and the things I can achieve.

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