The Ursuline Chronicle:The student news magazine of Ursuline Academy

The Ursuline Chronicle

So… where are you going?

Sarah Taylor, Senior Editor

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     It’s my dad’s cousin’s birthday party. I thought Uncle Joe had died last year, until I saw the party invitation among the college pamphlets on the kitchen table a few days ago. My parents’ think they forced me to come here, but really I have nothing better to do. After all, I’m a 2nd Semester senior who has already applied to all her colleges. All of the friends I would be hanging out with today are busy at a UD football game. Personally, I, an intellectual, don’t care for observing a violent sport played between brain damaged giants from a stadium of drunk, shirtless apes.

     So I’m here, standing by myself with a piece of uneaten cake. I don’t realize I seem anti-social until I see my great-aunt Patty coming towards me. I only know her name because I overheard my mom talking about her to my aunt Kate earlier. She seemed harmless when she was mingling among the guests, but to my mother that might as well have been the most offensive gesture she had ever had the displeasure of witnessing.

     Back to the present, I’m beginning to get nervous. Is she coming to talk to me? Or is she just passing by me? What will she say? What will I say? My heart is beginning to pound in my chest like a great, old church bell. Where are the exits? How can I get out of any potential conversation? What if I just faint right here right now? Is it worth starting a food fight to avoid another awkward conversation with a distant relative?

     “Hi! How are you, honey?” She greets me with customarily. I answer in kind. “Good, good.” She smiles at me. I look down at my cake then back up at her. She is still smiling at me. Is she expecting me to speak now? I’m more interested in dissecting my specimen of cake. Her cheek muscles must be hurting by now. “So… where are you going to college?” My heart stops. Everything is silent. The noises from this mediocre party fade away as I focus on staying alive. Keep breathing, I think to myself. Maybe I just might faint.

     “OH! THANK GOD! Nobody has asked me about my colleges all day! All they ever care about is my well-being. It’s soooo awkward for me. But colleges? Where do I begin?” My heartbeat returns to its normal pace, if not a little faster.

     Great-aunt Patty is still smiling, but now she cocks her head to the side and furrows her brow. I’m not sure why. She has just stumbled onto my favorite subject in the whole wide world; she should be excited for me!

     “I loved applying to colleges. I miss the process so much, but my parents made me stop after twenty colleges because we apparently need money to put food on the table. What about putting college letters on the table? We could just eat those if we needed to.”

     Great-aunt Patty’s smile is gone; she just stares at me now. She must be enthralled by my fit of passion. I take this to mean that she wants me to continue talking about my favorite subject.

     “I don’t know how I’m going to choose just one in May. I mean, I’ve spent so much time at each college. I’ve toured at least four times at each college. I’ve befriended a minimum of eighteen people at each place, and befriended two hundred fifty college students in total on facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr, and reddit. I am seriously considering enrolling in two colleges.”

     “How on earth would you do that? Why-”

     “Oh! I’ll enroll at one college under a fake identity. I was thinking of enrolling under the name ‘Zeppelin Percival McCartney’, a foreign exchange student from Kentucky. What do you think?”

     “Uh… well, new question! What do you plan to major in?” My great-aunt seems a little flustered now. I’m not sure why? It doesn’t have anything to do with me almost shouting at this point in the conversation, does it? Can she hear me well enough? Maybe I should shout louder.

     “Majors, actually. I plan on triple majoring in Philosophy, Business, and Comedy. I’m certain that these are where my passions lie- aside from applying to colleges, of course. Any other questions I can answer about applying to college? Did I mention that I LOVE talking about colleges almost as much as I love the application process?”

     Patty looks at me for a good two minutes before she speaks again.

     “How… how are you feeling? Are you alright, dear?”

     My heartbeat doesn’t stop abruptly like it did last time; instead, it fades away. Abandoned by my own heart, I feel left to die in this desolate wasteland with nothing but my slice of party cake as my only companion. How could this total stranger have the gall to ask me about such personal matters?

     “Oh. That? I don’t really know. Uh… it’s not really my favorite subject to talk about. My parents are kind of forcing me to take care of myself, but I’d rather just research more colleges. They are being such jerks about it too! And all these random strangers come up to me, asking about it. Like, not everyone knows how they feel now or how they will feel a few months from now. Do they really even care? Oh! But I wasn’t referring to you! You’re great… so… yeah…”

     Great-aunt Patty looks at me for what seems like five minutes; I shift weight from my left foot to my right foot then to my left foot then to my right foot while she stares at me more. How do I ease this tension?

     “So… any colleges you think I should look at?” I rub the back of my neck, hoping to restore the exciting atmosphere of our previous conversation, but to no avail.  

     “Oh! Christmas! Look at the time! I think I left the stove on! I should really go check on it now.”

     “But… this isn’t even your house-”

     “Nice talking to you too, dear.” I’ve never seen a eighty something year old woman move so swiftly through a crowd of people before. Come to think of it, great-aunt Patty was acting really weird the whole time I was talking to her. I shrug it off and return to thoughts of my slice of cake and the rigorous academic programs at the last university I visited.

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3 Responses to “So… where are you going?”

  1. Celina Ceballos on March 20th, 2017 9:34 am

    This is too funny Sarah! Completely relatable and true to your voice 🙂


  2. Shayla Bartoli on March 20th, 2017 9:36 am

    HAHAHAHA SARAH THIS WAS AMAZING!!! I could really hear your voice come out in this! Amazing work! This is a very accurate description of a senior’s inner thoughts when the dreaded question, “Where you be attending college?”, comes about.


  3. Sarah Looney on March 20th, 2017 9:37 am

    Sarah your piece was filled with humor, I couldn’t stop laughing.


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The Ursuline Chronicle:The student news magazine of Ursuline Academy
So… where are you going?