A letter to November 2nd


Photo by Faye Tyschper

Dear November 2nd, 

Until now, your arrival seemed like a distant reality. 

It’s difficult to believe that the coveted hot pink “vision board” I kept hanging in my room since the eighth grade is now coming to fruition; my postsecondary aspirations just beginning.

Reflecting on the beginning of my college search, my mind is immediately drawn to a particular moment in the red bean bag chairs of the Jefferson Junior High School library. Opening my Canvas page, I saw a “Class of 2023” course invitation banner appear at the top of my screen. Even then, 2023 still seemed like some sort of ambiguous year – something that was constantly talked about, but didn’t feel real. I’m not sure whether this ignorance was my way of coping with the fears of leaving a quiet, suburban, comfortable lifestyle and propelling myself into the dynamic, bustling nature of a city after high school, or not anticipating its arrival so quickly. Either way, I can’t help but wonder if the past 17 years have prepared me for postsecondary life. I can’t help but wonder if I’m ready.

Where are you thinking about applying? The April of my junior year would mark the beginning of the continuous questioning that later constituted what seemed like the entirety of my conversations with friends, at family gatherings and with acquaintances in grocery stores. It seemed to be everyone’s “go-to small talk” topic – a way to evade awkward silence. The hours on weekends spent writing essays, researching programs and attempting to somehow formulate a picture of what I wanted the rest of my life to look like at age 17 was certainly overwhelming at times, but throughout this process, I’ve also developed a more profound sense of appreciation for the opportunity to partake in it

On a particular Thursday night in late October, the stressors of the application process came to a halt. Simultaneous with a deep inhale, I told myself that it was time. With the mere click of a button, in the words of my mother, “the process would be out of my hands.” In hearing the familiar computer click sound for the last time, the weight of a million bricks had been lifted off my shoulders; an unfamiliar sense of relief came over me. I kept telling myself that “there is nothing else I could do. All you can do is wait.”

Honestly, though, I’m finding this to be the worst part.

Now that you are here, the long-awaited November 2nd, what do I do? How do I ensure my last months of high school do not consist of constantly refreshing my application portals? Our future is almost here- a reality that can be quite difficult to bear. I think the only way to combat this is by intentionally living in the present. 

I know my youth doesn’t completely cease the moment I leave the doors of Naperville North, but to some extent, it does. Regardless of what your post-high school plans entail, there is a dramatic shift when our time here comes to a close. Farewell to the days of returning home for off-campus lunch and so long to the financial stability of living at home. With the prospect of entering the real world looming before us, I see no other choice than to enjoy what we can, while we still can. There is something oddly sentimental about approaching the rest of senior year with this outlook. There is so much to look forward to and so many opportunities for memories to be made. The people I am surrounded by are faces that I have known for most of my life. Not long from now, we will be fitted in our gap and gowns, saying goodbye to these past four years. With college application season hopefully behind us, I intend to fully immerse myself in this year of lasts. 

While, yes, I can say that my intentions are to savor these moments, I am not oblivious to the aftermath of submitting college applications. Years of hard work have been put into preparing ourselves to be well-rounded applicants, and the question still remains: was it enough? The reality is that we will get rejected, most likely more than once. I have been constantly reminding myself, in preparation for these possible moments of rejection, that this does not determine my worth. While college is important, I am in no way denying that I am continually trying to have faith in the fact that things will work out as they should. Whenever I am looking too far into the future and inducing unnecessary worry, my mom always says, “we will cross that bridge when we come to it.” I hope that this can bring you all the comfort it has given me time and time again. There is no room for these worries on November 2nd, we no longer have control over potential outcomes and therefore must let go. 

Have confidence in who you are and all that you have done to this point. We have had quite the tumultuous 4 years of high school, and we have almost made it to the end. I hope that when we look back on our time here, while we certainly aren’t the same as when we entered, we are grateful for the people we have become.  


Faye and Maggie