So, bottom line, the last thing I need to be doing is blowing $500 (minimum) on a trip. (If I stay home until the 15th or so, I can actually make another $500, working.) I'll consider possibly taking a weeklong trip (since I can't move into my dorm until the 25th), but the whole elaborate France-Italy-Greece plan is off. I may do it next year; as I've said multiple times, I'm hoping to do this trip, and as it was all sold out for this year, maybe I can do some sort of combo Eurail-plus-SwimTrek trip next summer. Assuming I get into Yale or Harvard and let them shower me with money and don't have to take out any student loans. (That, however, would depend partially on my paring this godforsaken Personal Statement down to the requisite 500 words, and after two hours of writing and paring I'm only at 741. No one should be surprised by this.)
Secondly (and much less excitedly), I'm debating writing a senior thesis. I looked at my degree audit today and realized (again) that I only have one more required class before I'm finished with my degree, plus the optional senior thesis. Mom thinks that would be something I'd be good at, and I agree. I have a serious case of diarrhea of the mouth (see above evidence); a 40-page thesis wouldn't even really faze me. However, it depends on my finding a topic I can actually churn out 40 pages on, and that (topic-finding) is not something I am especially gifted at. (Help, anyone?)
Third, I've been looking at the two big swims I'm hoping to do next summer: Tampa Bay (24 miles, in April) and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (28.5 miles, in July). The Manhattan one was actually just held today, which is what made me go check out the websites again. Tampa Bay doesn't seem to have too many requirements, just the usual escort craft, but for Manhattan Island, I have to do a qualifying swim. (The English Channel requires one, too.) Manhattan wants four hours in 68-degree (or colder) water - not such a big deal. I wonder if I could do that in Lake Wauberg? Yeah, sure, there are alligators, but if I did it in March like we did this past year (63-degree water) and just stayed in for a longer time...? I can't think of anywhere else. Ah, well, I have a year to think on it.
Fourth, I'm probably going to dinner (or something) with my old buddy Faith on Monday. That's a good friend from high school who goes to Agnes Scott in Atlanta and is home for the summer. I haven't seen her in a year, since we met up in Paris last June, so that'll be exciting. My two other high school best friends, Mandy and Elise, are both still at school - Elise is busy doing Navy stuff, being happily single (join the club :)) and learning to drive her new stick-shift, and I have no clue what Mandy's up to. I miss her, though.
Fifth, and last: all the things I have to do before I can declare myself 'done and awaiting the verdict' about graduate school. The choices in order of preference are (1) Yale, (2) Harvard, (3) Georgetown, (4) Brown, (5) U Pitt, and (6) UF, with UNC Chapel Hill as an outside possibility. Basically, it comes down to whoever will pay me the most, but I really do sort of have my heart set on Yale or Harvard...
Anyway, the checklist:
Fill out all six online applications (up in mid-August).
Send a check or pay an online fee for each one, depending on their preference.
Get 3 recommendation letters written for each school.
Get copies of my transcript sent to each school.
Retake the GRE and get the scores sent to each school.
Shorten this Statement of Purpose I've been working on all night by 241 words.
Fill out the Statement of Financial Resources for Harvard (ha!).
Anyway, I hear the long-anticipated rain finally starting to pour down outside, so I'm going to grab Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (got to get through it again before Friday night when the sixth one comes out!) and go curl up on the couch.
(Come to think of it, isn't July 10th supposed to be Harry Potter's birthday? Coincidence...)