I've now discovered that if you know what you want and try hard to achieve it, everyone else will try hard, too.
When I think about it, I was working very hard the summer before I applied to graduate school. I was going to the library every day in the summer. I read a play a day for about three months. I was taking audition classes, and I was reciting lines to myself and acting as my own scene partner. But I was having fun.