by Isabella Zaliagiris

Artwork by Luke McGinty

In one year

I took took the SAT four times. 

My mother’s voice scorning me 

still rings in my head after all this time.

Making a C won’t get you into Carolina.

Two schools

and three applications later

UNC and I finally decided we were a match. 

I emerged

through the unhappiness, 

the haunting regret.

And now i set here,

at my my dream school,

wondering if it’s all worth it.

Worked my whole life to be in this moment-

just to be surrounded by valedictorians

and those with musical talent-

future scientists and heart surgeons.

Meeting up with friends for dinner

is now just a trip to the library

with a bagel or Wendy’s chicken nuggets.

and drinking on a weekday 

is like an ancient legend.

The shame creeps in 

as I realize all the work I’ve yet to do.

When I think about all the time 

I have already wasted.

Should have, could have

been reading for class

or responding to week old emails.

But instead deciding to visit my nana.


She took me to lunch before

paying for my groceries.

I delight in her, knowing she won’t 

always be around

to tell me stories about when she

was younger. At the end of it all

I won’t graduate at the top of my class.

Nor will people admire my

outstanding academic accomplishments.

I’ll just have a degree in PR 

and the memory of being known as the 

funnest bitch around.

And that’s when I realized

Who needs a degree

when you’re Schoolin’ Life?

1 thought on “College

  1. Don’t sell yourself short, beautiful lady. Obviously talented, generous with your friendship, lugging around great genes. Everybody can’t stand at the head of the class, some experience a great popularity and learn early in life to express themselves beautifully. I just know it: you’re going to enjoy your life, and many people will enjoy you. John Tate

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