Monday, September 29, 2014
"Anxiety, Applications and Autumn" by Sarah Vallecillo
As a child, I loved the fall because of the vibrant colors, Halloween, and pumpkin pie. As I grew older, I began to dread the season because it meant I would have to go
back to school and deal with the stress it caused me. My first day as a high school senior, almost all of my teachers mentioned how college and adult responsibilities were approaching us with increasing speed. College applications, S.A T's, deadlines and the pressure to maintain an impressive grade point average loomed over my head. I had a long list of things I needed to accomplish and the constant reminders stirred up a panicked feeling in my chest. On the way home, I looked out the car window and focused on the trees and the slight yellow tint of the turning leaves. As I stood at the threshold of my senior year, I was reminded of a more charming fall day in 2003, before school became such a scary place, a time where fall was much simpler.
This particular Saturday afternoon in October, my father decided to take me and my siblings to the local park in our neighborhood. The weather was comfortable, but still cold enough to wear a sweater. Dried leaves whisked along the cobblestone and happy colored tree tops stood a mile above me. The sounds of squealing children, ringing bells from food vendors and Mexican music mingled together in the air. I took delight in playing on piles of leaves which park sanitation had unintentionally left at my disposal. We stayed until the sun started to set, to my mothers annoyance, we would be late for dinner. I remember sitting on a grassy hill, overlooking the busy streets below. I watched as the sky turned to a lovely shade of pink, and in that moment not a single worry crossed my mind.
There are days when I long for this feeling of peace. My first day of senior year was simply one of those days. I realize I am not alone in my college endeavor and most high school seniors face similar feelings of anxiety during this particular season. I know more gratifying times are yet to come and I look forward to when my hard work pays off. Still, I appreciate when I can get lost in a memory and escape the worries of life, even if it is just for a few moments.