Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork

When I applied for college, I applied only to the UW, but I remember being assaulted by a constant barrage of paperwork. There was the initial application form to fill out, along with an essay and a list of academic achievements, followed by an acceptance form where one had to declare that I would be in the Arts and Sciences College rather than the College of Engineering, etc. On the same form, I also had to disclose unnecessary information for statistical purposes. Did the UW really need to know what my sexual orientation and race were? Say I hadn’t fit neatly into the straight/white American ideal and had been a lesbian Native American/Hispanic (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban)/African American/Other. As a high school student, I know I wouldn’t have been comfortable checking off all of those boxes and breaking down the percentage of my “racial heritage”. In reality, I wasn’t even comfortable checking off that I was 100% white; it made me feel guilty for my race. In what I now realize to be a failed attempt at retaliation, I chose the “Other” box and wrote “Euro-Mutt WASP”.

That barrage decreased slightly after I was accepted to the UW and had registered for classes. But once January shuffled around, the paperwork returned in the name of taxes and the FAFSA. As a poor student, taxes aren’t so bad- unless you have the unfortunate circumstances to find yourself in the complicated realm of the 1099-R and how the hell you’re supposed claim that thing. But then, that’s what Turbo Tax (and a high speed internet connection to “download” it) is for. A synopsis of the two years following my freshmen year would read: taxes, the FAFSA, correction to the FAFSA, an application into the English department, an application into the Comparative Literature department, more taxes, another FAFSA, another correction to the FAFSA, and another application into the Comparative Literature department because the Registrar lost the first one. All in all, things weren�t so bad after I had made it into the UW.

But then this year happened and I suddenly found myself knee-deep in paperwork. So far there has been/will be/might be if I’m not too lazy: an application for “graduating senior priority”, a graduation application, an internship application, an internship contract for credit, taxes, the FAFSA, a study abroad application, a third application into the Comparative Literature department because the Registrar lost my first and second one, a passport application, and an application for a student visa. And I haven’t even strayed into the world of the GRE and graduate admissions yet!

So this is what my life has come down to: a mass of paperwork and forms and filling out personal information in all capitals with blue or black ink in the white areas only.