I need to get something pretty fucking huge off of my chest, so here we go.
Basically, it all started when Puget Sound (which was my first choice for a variety of reasons) lost parts of my application. Or, maybe they weren't the ones who lost them; perhaps they got lost in the mail- I don't really know, but bottomline: parts of my application were misplaced somewhere along the line. I sent in my application in late fall/early winter, I believe, and it was sometime in January that I was informed that said parts were missing. I re-sent them as soon as I could, and then all I got back from UPS was radio silence. So at that point, I didn't even know if I was still being considered, or what was even going on at that point, since the deadline for applications had passed. (I realize now that I should've been more aggressive about calling them and asking what was going on, but I guess hindsight is 20/20.)
So since my application was lost, information about everything else was up in the air, including any information about financial aid. And because of the lack of correspondence from UPS, I thought that I was officially shit out of luck for going to my first choice.
Tulane was the first school to get back to me and had the best offer. Since my parents make under 50 grand a year, I accepted the offer, and sent in my deposit. Three days after I sent in the deposit to Tulane, Puget Sound officially gets back to me, and it turns out that they were offering me a merit scholarship, something that I didn't get from Tulane. (All of the aid is pretty much need based.)
A major part of the issue is I haven't been as excited about going to Tulane as I feel I should. Sure, there was excitement- it's a great school from all accounts, it's located in an amazing city, the people in LA are remarkably nice and hospitable, etc, etc. But I still felt like I was forcing myself to get excited about it. It all came to a head at orientation. Pretty much everyone I've talked to that has gone to Tulane has said that as soon as they stepped foot on campus, they knew Tulane was the school for them. I didn't have that moment, and again, as we went through orientation, it still felt like I was forcing myself to smile and go along.
Seeing the type of students that are going to Tulane also contributed a fair amount. They were just... I don't know. Never before have I ever felt so out of place, or uncomfortable. I looked at these people and they all had these super expensive phones, and they had the same bored, cocky look of some of the people who went to Sandia; the people who burned through phones and iPods like it was their job, and have never had to skip a meal because money was tight. I just... I don't know. I'm struggling to find words that can accurately and fairly describe what my intuition is telling me, but I'm failing. Just- let's just say that I don't talk to people like them. I don't belong with people like them.
It felt so... clique-y. At Sandia, no one gave a shit if one was ghetto, preppy, a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, etc. No-one really cares. Of course, birds of a feather flock together, but the general rule of thumb is that if you're not a dick, and you like some of the common interests around Sandia, you'll have friends. But with the people at Tulane, there was a feeling in my gut that was telling me that I didn't belong.
I almost had a breakdown in the LBC (student life center) and I confessed to my dad that I wasn't feeling as excited about Tulane as I feel I should've been, that I think I made a huge mistake in making the choice to go to Tulane. We started talking and I told him about everything- the fear about how expensive Tulane is, the students here, how I don't fit in, how, even on the first day of orientation, I didn't feel like it could be home for the next four years.
We talked about it, and made the decision to skip the orientation activities after dinner. We went back to the hotel room and I basically poured my heart out. We spent about three or four hours hashing it out and figuring out what my options were.
On Monday, I'm calling Puget Sound and explaining how I still REALLY want to go there, and if I can withdraw from Tulane and attend UPS. I'll see if I can still get the scholarship, and see if there's anyway we can still apply for financial aid. I'll try making my case, and see where I can end up. If there's a chance I can still go with the scholarship and the aid, my dad and I are making a trip to UPS's orientation.
That's a lot of 'if's, but I'm just... I don't see myself at Tulane in four years. I'm fucking choked with guilt, and I can't stop freaking out. I know going to TU is an opportunity several would kill for, and I feel like I've wasted so much time and resources in this whole college affair. My parents have assured me that I shouldn't feel guilty and bad if I end up not choosing Tulane, but I can't help it. I do. It's eating me up inside and I can't stop shaking, I can't get rid of the nausea that's been clinging to the back of my throat for the past few days, I just... I don't know. I'm fucking terrified, and I can't shake the feeling that I've irreparably fucked up everything for myself.