The Question by Claire Ockner


Ever since the day I turned fifteen, I’ve been bombarded with a single question. You learn to tune it out, you know, and it becomes white noise, like flies buzzing around your ears or the static on an old T.V. And, the more they ask you that same question, the more you realize that you have no idea what the answer is. You shrug. You mumble, “I don’t know.” You avoid it like the freaking plague.

“So, Claire, where do you think you’ll be going after high school?”

Oy vey. For the past few months, I’ve simply been regurgitating the names of the schools to which I applied. I would rattle them off like items on a grocery list, speeding through them as quickly as possible. After all, a question that you’ve been asked over and over again for years can get pretty boring to answer. Seeing other people answer the question can be even worse. You’re happy for them, of course, but you’re jealous too. They have an answer, a definitive plan for the next four years of their life.

About a week ago, I finally got my answer. I no longer dread the question — I embrace it. “I’m going to Ohio State!” I say confidently. And then I answer the rest of their seemingly endless questions: What are you studying? Psychology. Are you in any programs? Yes, I’m in the Honors Program. Do you know where you’ll be living? No, because they won’t email me my freaking housing contract. I tell them about my roommate, who I met on Facebook, and how I plan on decorating my room, and what activities I want to participate in.

So, I’ve finally answered your question. I’m going to THE Ohio State University, and I couldn’t be happier.

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