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Chasing Futures Through the Snow: An Oslo Student's Musings on College Applications and Life's Unpredictabilities

A young girl, bundled up, contemplates a snowy Norwegian landscape, with a burning house in the distance.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, November 9, 2023, 09:16

Wrapped in my coats and scarves, peering outside my foggy train window into the gust of snowflakes, I am reminded once again of my beloved home and its temperamental winter season. It is a frosty 3 degrees Celsius outside, the world blanketed in white purity, a stark contrast to the turmoil within my heart. I sip on my lukewarm coffee, its steam disappearing into the frigid air, as I meander onto the topic that's been feeding my anxiety for weeks now - the dreaded college application process.

Like the biting winter winds whittling away at the mountainside, the process too, chips away at your resolve, at your dreams, and your hopes. This college journey that promises enlightenment and better prospects is paved with dead ends - essays, letters of recommendations, scholarships, tests and the inescapable prospect of rejection.

As the train jostles over the frozen tracks towards bustling Oslo, I can't help but reflect on the parallels between the process and the unexpected tragedies of life. Life-altering situations do not ask for appointments, they occur unpredictably, just like the dreadful news I read this morning.

A residential building in Høyanger fell prey to an aggressive blaze. Two of my fellow countrymen have been rushed to the hospital, their lungs battling the silent attack from smoke inhalation. As relief forces converge on the scene like ants to a feast, ten souls find themselves without a roof over their heads, their lives tossed into uncertainty. A stark reminder that amidst our daily struggles, life persists in its relentless unpredictability, one that feels particularly resonant as I navigate my path through the labyrinth of college admissions.

Reality is a relentless tide, and within its ebbs and flows, we are caught, with dreams of higher education in one hand and the sobering realisation of life’s uncertainties in the other. It's a strange polarity, chasing a future while hinged on the precipice of an ever-changing present.

As the train pulls into Oslo, I tuck away my laptop, the unfinished college application form staring back at me. Today I've written less about it, and more about the hidden depth of the process, a realisation etched deep in the crevices of my subconsciousness.

In pledging our future to the templates of applications and becoming mere numbers in the sea of applicants, we are persistently sidestepping the melting pot of life. Lost in the chase, we sideline what is happening around us, forgetting that our dreams and ambitions, while significant, are but fragments of the larger life canvas.

Tags: college application life reflections unexpected events

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