"I have to get to college," I yawn as I study till dawn

The obstacles are axiomatic: a 3.8 GPA,

a schedule preventing me from taking AP,

I remedy but can't relieve the pain I receive because I can't perceive a solution -

I love learning; public schools don't love teaching


"I have to get to college," I sing as I practice the viola

My neck burning, fingers calloused beyond repair,

A disgusting hickey on my neck warns of our dangerous love affair

"I'll never be professional," I admit after seven years of sitting second chair


"I have to get to college," I cry as my legs burn running track

I don't have speed, endurance, or muscle.

I've never passed, they've never seen my back

Long distance, least embarrassing, yet I fall behind a mile away

A conflagration of anger, insufficiency, failure, dismay


"I have to get to college," I breathe as I nearly drown swimming

My lungs burn; I can't hold my breath

The best of the worst or the worst of the best, none the better seen

Hard working and dedicated, but no experience; how could my family afford swim team?

Prunes and muscles, caps and goggles, chlorine and pain, eating, eating, eating

"I just do this for the food," inside I cry, outside I excuse with joking


"I have to get to college," I cringe as I sit in meetings

An introvert, uncomfortable in groups

Student council, math club, science olympiad

So many people; an introvert never succeeds in this world.


“I have to get to college,” I sigh as I push away writing

Disorganized plot, transparent language, clumsy dialogue

40,000 words will never be published and will never get me to college


“I have to get to college,” I wince as I close my novels

I’ve learned better English than most native English-speakers

Why continue when there are more important things to do?


“I have to get to college,” I interject to everything

The novels close; I’ve learned English better than most of my teachers

The movies end; two hours are better spent studying

The friends all leave; I don’t have time for mindless, lazy parasites of my time


No one does as much as me, but no one else is unsatisfactory

They'll get the large, specific scholarships,

And forever I will have to kiss failure's lips

I burn with the desire to succeed at one thing, anything

The ropes of poorness, immigrancy, lower class bite my flesh,

As I rise in proficiency, I see the limits of sufficiency, never to reach the efficiency necessary

To go to college.


It may happen, I may get there

Will I survive the embarrassment, sadness, disappointment?

Will I ever become a genius, doctoral student, revolutionary scientist?

I can't quit sports or music; how will I get to college if I'm not well-rounded?

It's too late to do science competitions, olympiads; I will pass the age limit when I am well-prepared.


"Focus but be well-rounded. Be smart, athletic, and musical, and get a job (college IS expensive). But be very good at all of them,"

I work myself to death, in vain hope

I must do more, despite my hunger only for knowledge

"I have to get to college"



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