Fear of rejection

My brother dreamt of attending UC Santa Barbara. There has been so much stress and pressure for him these past couple weeks waiting for these college acceptance letters. Unfortunately, he was devastated when UCSB rejected him, thinking all his hard work in high school did not pay off. I can tell how overwhelmed he gets when my mom mentions financial aid, dorms, scholarship money, or basically anything related to college. He had the mindset that, with over a 4.0 GPA and 2000 SAT score, why did someone with similar stats as him get accepted, but he didn’t? Colleges are completely unpredictable and I find that students should not be comparing GPAs and SAT scores with others who got accepted, only lowering your self esteem even more.

Getting accepted or rejected to a prestigious college should not change your view of someone. Everyone has their weaknesses and strengths in different areas of academics and more. A rejection from a school does not define who someone is or what they are capable of. I think what’s most important is how the students react when they receive a rejection letter from their dream school. Oh, you let down your family and friends? No. Going to college should be about your own future and what you want to achieve. I believe my brother will still accomplish something great whether he is studying computer science at Cal State Long Beach or UCSB.

It doesn’t help that college acceptance rates are dropping every year. At the thought that UCLA was possible for me freshmen year, now is a school that I wouldn’t dare apply to, looking at the 9% acceptance rate and the amount of people getting rejected from UCLA. As a junior, the stress has already been starting to pile on me. The other day, my mom would not stop asking me what I wanted to major in. And guess what, I HAVE NO IDEA. She tells me to choose something I’d enjoy doing, but deep inside, I know she wants me to become a pharmacist. Thinking about APs, SATs, SAT subject tests, ACT, scholarships, financial aid, and… the list would never end. It is completely ridiculous how much stress a 16 year old endures on a daily basis. And not only that, but I give tons of credit to how stressed out my mom is. With worrying about student loans for college, not qualifying for financial as middle class, purchasing a car with insurance… it’s just too much on a money standpoint. And a year after my brother, I will be going off to college as well. And all I can do now is work hard and hope for the best…

-Chelsea

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Epitome of Stress

I tend to write a lot about how tired and how much time I don’t have and the time I wish I had. To be quite honest, people are probably sick and tired of me complaining about anything and everything. I am too. I’ve been cutting down on meals and sleep with the amount of time I’ve had and with everything that’s on my plate these past couple weeks. I really just need a place to vent, but don’t want to bother anyone anymore either. No one really asked if I’m okay, so I guess it’s the part of life where I’m supposed to pick myself up. Some days, I feel like all the energy is just sucked out of me. I just want to talk to someone without bothering them, but I could never find the courage or motivation to. I still feel like I’m shrinking, but I know things won’t suck this much forever. Well, I guess I’ll just leave things here.

This week and next week, yep. It is AP week. I know it’s not just me taking AP classes and I’m not even taking that many for that matter. There is so much pressure to get a 5 for every exam I paid for. What my AP teachers have been calling these past couple weeks are “the final push.” However, this final push is when I started to become lazier than I ever was. I’ve fallen behind on a few simple assignments, that could’ve kept my grade up, but ended up dropping it an entire letter grade. Even though some of my teachers offered late assignments for half credit, I still haven’t found the motivation to complete them. Because I have to play catch up, I haven’t really found the time to study for AP tests. But aside from all that, teaching piano has been kind of a nightmare. No matter how patient I am or strict I am with the kids, I still feel like pulling my hair out after that hour of lesson. I think I must find a new job soon, but this will have to do for now because I really don’t have time to do that.

Also, since senior year is starting soon, I’ve been filling the new role as a front ensemble section leader. And to be honest, I’m completely clueless. I don’t know what I’m doing and have no guidance whatsoever. When I try to give constructive criticism to other members, I’m afraid of them becoming disappointed or offended at the comments. I should know that that’s reality and I’m doing it for their own good. Well, anyway I still regret not applying for a coronet award for World Languages. I’m still worried about getting into college, and choosing which one I want to attend and what I want to study. I just really want to remove all the pressure of attending the college of my mother’s dreams. I still really want to volunteer somewhere before graduating, possibly Aquarium of the Pacific or the library or my local hospital. I still need to take the ACT and subject tests. And of course, get my permit, so I can start learning how to drive. My tour with Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps also starts in about less than a month too. And I’m really excited. The camps every weekend have been a blast (other than having to catch up on homework). That’s probably the only thing that has been kept me going so far.

All this stress piling up is probably just a testament to what I am capable of, what my limits are, and when my breaking point is. Maybe I’m just stressing out because I care too much about my grades and whatnot? I don’t know. There have been nights where I am so frustrated at myself, that there is this tightness in my chest, that I will just cry myself to sleep. I just really hope it doesn’t get worse than this, that I don’t disappoint anymore people, and that I just live in the present, rather than worrying about what the future holds. Thanks for reading and being the one that listens.

-Chelsea

Christmas

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” -Tale of Two Cities. Another holiday post! Yay! Something about the holiday time always gets me excited. Whether it’d be the decorated houses with Christmas lights, candles burning, family time around the cozy fireplace, the cold weather (not exactly in southern California), or opening presents on Christmas Day. I always think of the holidays as a break from school and quality time to spend with family. Nope. Just kidding. Even on breaks, students are still piled with homework. Even the week before winter break had started, everyone was overwhelmed and overloaded with cramming for tests and homework. Well, obviously, who actually does their homework until the last couple days of break?

What happened to when the purpose of break was to spend time with family and get an actual BREAK from school? I wish teachers would try to at least lighten up the homework load during break. I guess the stress never goes away. I’m still trying to enjoy every last minute of break by spending time with family and friends. I’m definitely going to miss the Christmas spirit once it’s over. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

Prelude and Fugue

Sorry for the lack of posts everyone! I know I should be updating this blog at least once per week, but… Just kidding. No excuses! I’m actually in the shoes of a lot of the sophomores… Homework piling up in one day and multiple exams on the same day! AP Euro, sigh… Why do teachers have to put us under so much stress? Alright, anyway, one of the many things I do to relieve this stress is by using music (although sometimes music puts me under stress too). Whether I’d be listening to it or playing it!

If you guys didn’t know already, yes, I play the piano!  I’ve been playing since 3rd grade! So it’s been about 7 years now! I love how the piano is such a versatile instrument. Anyone can play it! You can use your ear to easily find the melody of a tune. Piano lessons allow me to get tips on how to improve and become a better performer from an experienced teacher. Currently, I’m enrolled in the MTAC CM (Music Teacher’s Association of California Certificate of a Merit) program. This program evaluates each student based on performance, ear-training, sight-reading, theory, and technique. They place the students in levels that range from prepatory to advanced. High school students that are finishing their high school diploma (in the program National Guild of Piano Teachers) are usually in the higher levels. In the National Guild auditions, you have to play either an International Program (15 pieces) or a National Program (10 pieces) for the high school diploma. You are also asked to play scales, arpeggios, and cadences in any key to demonstrate technique. In performing repertoire, the student is judged on matters of interpretation, continuity, pedaling, dynamics, tone, etc. Everything might be very confusing to understand… I’m currently training for the 10 pieces program for my high school diploma this year! The title of this post is actually two pieces that I will be performing for this program! Not only am I practicing piano for about 30 minutes every day to train for this, it also helps me relieve stress! Killing two birds with one stone. 🙂 Playing piano allows me to express my emotions easily through music. I definitely recommend music as a solution to any problem or just simply to relieve stress!