A broken life...pieces that can't be picked up

<p>Hi, my name is Panda. I'm a seventeen year old high school student - I'm going into senior year this fall. However, I was originally supposed to graduate this June.
All 2009, I was depressed. I spent my entire high school years trying to be popular, but by 2009 I realized that "trying to be popular" was pointless. I thought it made me an outcast from my family, and I felt like, shouldn't family be more important? Meanwhile, I was trying to get into Stanford, Yale, Wellesley, and Princeton - my top four choices.
I became suicidal. I attempted once and I also slit my wrists. I was admitted into a mental institution last September and again in November for being "psychotic", "bipolar tendencies", and for "suicide attempts".</p>

<p>Now it's June. I havent been to school in almost 8 months. I haven't practiced my viola since February. I've moved to a completely new state: from the east coast to the conservative South. ad 6 months at home, and I did nothing. I could've taken college courses. The only thing I will do during my break, that I can write about in a superb, developed college essay, is my trip to Cameroon (in Africa) in 2 weeks, walk-a-thon, founded by me, to raise money for children who need to go to school. I need to supplement my GPA. I could've and I still want to go to Stanford and Yale...
Here's a thread: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/851942-mental-illness-applying-yps.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/851942-mental-illness-applying-yps.html&lt;/a>
I registered at my new school on Monday and I'm taking 3 AP courses, 2 honors courses and some required courses.
My mom tells me not to work myself so hard.
I'm so confused. I ask people advice yet I feel like I'm getting the wrong advice from my parents. They don't understand why I work hard. IN fact it's depressing when my mom tells me to "relax" as if she doesn't believe I really want to go to Stanford. Everyone is telling me to calm down a little because Im still on medication and I'm still recovering from depression. Yesterday I even started eating CHICKEN. It was horrible. (I'm a vegetarian.)
And on top of that, I'm really worried. As you can probably tell from my writing, I don't write as good as I used to. I'm out of practice. But I have to draft all my college essays! I haven't started practicing my viola piece for my music supplement. All my essays that I started last year are still in a cardboard box in my closet. I spend all day playing video games. I've lost motivation. I feel defeated.And this is a person who wants to be at Stanford or Yale, this time next year.
My life has broken. Into many little, scattered pieces, like a glass that drops on the kitchen floor. There are big chunks of glass which are clearly seen, and easily picked up, but you can't reglue the glass without the tinier pieces. The tinier pieces make up the whole, and yet if you can't see them, you can't pick them up. When I see a tiny piece, though, I try to pick it up, but it pierces my finger and I bleed.</p>

<p>Cool name. Was your suicide attempt a serious one, or just a plea for help kind of attempt. And as a sidenote your last paragraph is one of the deepest things I've ever read.</p>

<p>Composure. The ability to be able to see the goal and think clearly. Among all your future endeavors, you've lost yourself. Get a grip! </p>

<p>If you can't stay mentally sane with all the work and expectations of a Stanford or Yale student, then you aren't ready for Stanford or Yale. Don't let frustration take the best of you, simply think clearly and go for a goal. Failure IS a possible outcome... it is for all of us. Learn what you can from your failures but DON'T DWELL ON THEM. </p>

<p>that being said, is your name really panda? i like chicken</p>

<p>I'd probably feel the same way you do if I were in your shoes and someone told me to relax, but I don't think your mother doesn't believe you want to go to Stanford. </p>

<p>I bet she knows full well that you want to go to Stanford or another top school -- and that she knows you want it so much that you will neglect your own well-being in pursuit of that goal. I bet what she wants for you is to change your goals so that you are attempting to get into schools that don't take so much work to get into because she thinks if you set your sights on lower-ranked schools you'd be happier.</p>

<p>I get that your life has broken, but I believe that you can rebuild it. It won't look the same as it did, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Even people whose lives change gradually sometimes end up with lives that look pretty different than they would have expected -- and discover that they like those lives.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>Wise up before it is too late. I sympathise with your plight but want to ask you this: What makes you think your parents are giving you bad advice? I hope you are not one of those teenagers who think they are wiser than their parents.</p>

<p>I'm sure your parents mean well for you and are being realistic in the circumstances. Their priority right now may just be for you to get well first! If I were the parent of a child with mental illness, sending them to school far away from home, let alone to Yale or Stanford will be setting them up for an expensive failure. We can give all the advice in the world but guess what? We will not be responsible for its consequences on you. On the other hand I bet your parents are paying for your medical bills your food and for the roof over your head. If they are, it is in their interest for you to get well FIRST so work with them. If they are not, they are irresposible. I am glad to know they are not pressuring you to go to a top school in your present state of health. </p>

<p>If I were a college recruiter for Yale or Stanford I might judge that you are not ripe for these institutions either because you are recovering from a stress related illness meaning that you may not thrive in a stress packed environment. </p>

<p>You sound like a very smart person that can do well in any school and I wish you the very best. Your health should be a priority to you too. I hope your folks are rich enough to sponsor you through top schools or poor enough for you to get financial aid or you are smart enough to get a scholarship. I am still an undergrad because I listened to friends more than my parents/family only to end up in failure and ended up flat on my face at their doorstep! My "friends" vanished and made a laughing stock of me. I am older, wiser and moving on from that failed past. </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Look, what your true motivation is in wanting to go to Yale or Stanford ? </p>

<p>Sometimes, when we are depressed or feel worthless, our mind works against us by holding up standards which are extremely high, its logic being that if you could only attain those standards, you will be "WORTH IT". Everytime you imagine yourself being successful , you'll temporarily feel great and any guilt feelings will be suppressed for a while. Yet paradoxically when you come " back to earth ", you'll see the reality, your level of preparation, the number of things you have left unfinished, the work you have left...... and to escape the pressure of doing those things NOW, you'll tend to postpone them by playing computer games, reading magazines, watching television or create any other form of diversion.... and after a while the guilt will increase and you will 'punish' yourself by working extra hard and neglecting your body.</p>

<p>I don't know if this describes you or not.... but if it does, you have to realize that you can only achieve success by learning to love and care for yourself as you are NOW, and fight the negative voice in your head every time it tries to set a standard for you. Then you'll see that you're much better focused in the present and can take the necessary steps to realize your dreams without fear or guilt. </p>

<p>Its also important that you make it ok for you to fail (ie not get the colleges of your choice). Just take things on a daily basis and reward yourself on your progress every day. Plan your time and take care of your health, it is most important for ur success. Believe me, if you are not strong, you cannot even remember stuff you have learnt.</p>

<p>Fight on. I know your dream is to got to Stanford or Yale, but if you don't get in, it's not the end of the world. One of my friend, he was the Salutatorian of my school, had about a 4.3 GPA and was the nicest, most humble, hard working guy you will ever meet. He was rejected by Yale and Stanford. But he didn't give up or was bitter about it. See, It's not the end of the world if you don't get into this top institutions. Many great people were rejected by top institutions, Warren Buffett was rejected by Harvard, Steven Spielberg applied to USC three times and was rejected. Just be great, don't listen to the negative from your mind. Fight on, don't give up. I know it's hard but keep on fighting.</p>

<p>In the midst of confusion, clutter, depression, parents, friends, college choices, dreams etc.....</p>

<p>Start with what you know on the deepest level, and build upon that. And, don't believe everything you think! (contradiction, I know)</p>

<p>You know where you are coming FROM
-What choices have led you to where you are at now
-How people around you are reacting to you ("relax....relax")
-Know that the only 'use' for the past is for adjusting to the future. For instance, if you haven't taken any college courses and have been sitting at home, REALIZE that and LEARN from it in the future. Do your best with what you have (Starting now!)
-If you haven't played your viola and that is important to you, play it for two minutes and then reevaluate if that was an appropriate decision. Be careful not to dwell on 'I haven't played the viola'. If you decide after trying again that it isn't good for you at that moment, then consciously put it down and move on to the next thing :D right?</p>

<p>You know where you want to go, generally</p>

<h2>-I am impressed with the amount of challenges you are undertaking this fall, and you know those challenges (if chosen correctly) will put you on the path you want to go. Again, I think you should be careful here and realize that if your semester is 'too challenging', that is another point to 'learn from', and not dwell on. You might be overambitious and approaching a stressful semester because you so badly want to get onto the right track. Give yourself some time ('relax' sound familiar?) to pick up the big chunks of glass first, or decide how you will build the next piece of glass. Or maybe you will decide to switch to lego building.</h2>

<p>PLEASE PLEASE, REMEMBER THIS.... When people are in situations of struggle, the main thing they do is over challenge themselves to 'get out of the hole' as fast as possible. This often times creates a deeper hole, because they have put unrealistic expectations on themselves. The solution in three steps...
-start small (pick up the viola for two minutes only)(write a single paragraph on any topic that you are proud of)
-build up in small bits (as small as is required for 80% success
-know that the road ahead will be bumpy, and don't be too hard on yourself for not being perfect starting now! </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>No advice (I'm not good at these things), but this is very good writing (I think, anyway):

[quote]
My life has broken. Into many little, scattered pieces, like a glass that drops on the kitchen floor. There are big chunks of glass which are clearly seen, and easily picked up, but you can't reglue the glass without the tinier pieces. The tinier pieces make up the whole, and yet if you can't see them, you can't pick them up. When I see a tiny piece, though, I try to pick it up, but it pierces my finger and I bleed.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>stanfordpanda15, I don't have deep advice for you, but I do have some shallow advice. Pick several "safety" schools that you will be happy to attend and apply there as well. Don't risk your self-esteem or your future on the elite college admissions lottery. The college application process, especially if you are aiming high, can deliver major blows to one's ego. </p>

<p>My husband and I have attended and taught both at very elite institutions (including two on your list) and colleges a bit further down the scale, but still very good. There isn't a huge difference academically. You can be happy and get a excellent education in many different settings. It's actually much more common for college students to have trouble in school because they are having mental problems, than because they are incapable of understanding the work. So you need to make your highest priority taking care of yourself and protecting your sanity.</p>

<p>

No .</p>