Calm After the Storm | Alice Lin
11:59 PM, November 30. A day practically regarded as doomsday for many highschool seniors. And that day is today: the day applications to any UC schools are due. But hopefully, as the capable student you are, your time management skills have allowed you to turn in your application days or even weeks in advance so you could rest early. More realistically, you are likely still completing your final round of editing or perhaps starting your first round and just praying that the UC portal crashes so you can get an extension (depending on how much you procrastinated). Either way, at least you don’t have much time to worry about the UC application anymore, seeing as the deadline is so soon. But you’ve been spending these last few days cramming all your time and effort into this application, what are you going to do after you turn it in? A good, sensible student might start working on their regular decision Common App essays, but let’s be honest, that’s a pipedream and we all need a little time off to relax before the next caffeine-fueled college essay editing cram-sesh two days before the deadline. In any case, willpower is a limited resource and we all know this is even more true for us seniors who are quite literally on the last leg of our highschool journey and just about ready to book it out of here. So let’s take a break from the apps and look for something to distract us from worrying about college decisions, shall we?
Eat seasonal foods. Persimmons, pears, pomegranates and clementines are in-season right now, so enjoy them to the fullest while they’re at their peak. If you’re already tired of eating them plain, try baking them into a completely new dessert like persimmon bread or clementine cake. Baking is also a great, relaxing activity that just so happens to result in snacks you can enjoy with your whole family. One of my favorite fruit recipes is for pear soup, which boils together pears, rock sugar, water, Chinese jujubes, and dried goji berries to make a dessert soup that also functions as a tonic perfect for warming up your body on a cold winter day.
Read some novels! Whenever I have some down time and need some quick entertainment, I always turn to webnovels. If you’re new to this form of media, I recommend “Trash of the Count’s Family.” It's translated from Korean and is pretty easy to read language-wise (for those of us hoping to turn off our brain cells for a bit) but still manages to be a complex and interesting story. The story follows Kim Rok Soo, who wakes up as Cale Henituse, a minor villain in a novel, and how this sly but reliable “trash” gets pulled into the central conflict of a fantastical world of dragons and magic. Besides our tsundere MC, there’s also a lovable and diverse cast of characters, including an assassin butler, beast people, and dark elves. As a fantasy adventure novel, much of the focus is on scheming and battles, but there is no shortage of cute found family moments, making it an exciting but not too high-intensity read. Just trust me, this novel gets better as it goes on, and the author is careful to tie up all important loose ends.
Try retail therapy. Black Friday and Cyber Monday might be over by this point, but there are still some retailers who have extended their sales for a few extra days or even the whole week. While sales are still around, pick up something small for yourself and get ahead on some holiday shopping. This way, you won’t have to worry about getting gifts during December when you’ll probably be occupied with writing Common App essays and you’ll get good deals.
It's definitely been a rough college app season so far, but even so, I hope you seniors take some time for yourselves to relax and rejuvenate before jumping back into the apps. I wish you the best of luck; you can do it!