(Yes, I know I’ve been neglecting my blog…)
If you happen to be a senior in high school this year (or a senior applying to college, ever), you may know what it’s like to apply to college: the essay writing, the waiting, and then, oh god, the decision date.
I haven’t publicly broadcasted this on the internet, but tomorrow, I will be receiving a decision from Harvard. It’s not the only university I applied to (or will be applying to), but it’s one of the three schools I’ve applied to during the Early Action round (the other two being the University of GA and Georgia Institute of Technology). I’ll be hearing from the rest of the universities (a list containing many more schools that I’m not going to list out here, haha) in March, when Regular Decision results come out. And since I’ve been feeling pretty anxious and this has been… a nerve-wracking week to say the least, I’m just going to write about it. God knows my parents don’t want to hear me talk about this anymore.
I don’t remember when I started to want to go to Harvard, but I’ve had this idea early on. Probably around the age of 13 or 14 is when I started wanting to go to the most prestigious school in America. My parents moved to the United States for me to get a good education… and I don’t know, when I think “good education,” Harvard definitely comes to mind. So I applied. Harvard seems closer now to me than it had been. But also farther. For the first time in my life, I have a chance of being accepted and going to the school, but for the first time in my life, there’s a chance that all my hopes of going to that university will be crushed (for a while at least, I know I’ll still have grad school).
The application process was a blur now, but I remember lying in bed and thinking, for hours and hours: is my application adequate? Are my essays good? Are my extra curricular activities balanced?
I’ve managed to put everything aside for a while and apply to other universities (Emory, Georgia Tech, Washington University in St. Louis, and several other Ivies are among the list), but now that decisions are finally coming, it’s like reality just hit, and I’ve got all sorts of feelings I can’t even begin to comprehend. Is it excitement, nervousness, anxiety…? Moreover, what will hold for me in that email that will be sent tomorrow at 5:00pm?
Regardless, my fate is sealed. My name is in the system, somewhere, along with the words “Congratulations” or “We regret to inform you” (is that how they reject applicants?). Worrying won’t change anything.
I want to imagine myself at Harvard. I want to imagine myself getting that acceptance letter. But it feels so wrong (too arrogant? too cocky?), and in a way, it feels like I’m “jinxing” myself (I’m not superstitious, I promise). On the other hand, it also feels wrong to imagine myself denied: I’ve worked so hard the last four years, and I will continue to work hard… (so please please please, Harvard (and all other universities), can you see that?) so I don’t want to be negative, and I want to believe in myself. I know by imagining myself denied, I’m not giving myself enough credit.
One thing that is (slightly) comforting, though, is that I’ve lived my last four years the best I could. I’ve done everything right, from my test scores to my class choices to extracurricular activities and to publishing my book. I have no regrets. And if Harvard rejects me tomorrow, I’ll know that I tried, and the system was just not in my favor. I also know that whether they take me or not does not define me as a person. Failure is a part of life, and all I need to do is make something positive out of it. I can’t make this promise that I won’t be disappointed or sad… but I think that is the mindset and the thoughts I need to keep in mind should a rejection come my way.
On a lighter note, my game plan for decision day and the subsequent ones (approved by my literature teacher and best friend) involve tons of chocolate. If I get accepted, I eat chocolate. If I get denied, I eat more chocolate. I can’t lose. ;)
For those of you who applied Early Action to Duke, Stanford, UPenn, MIT… your decisions are coming out soon too! I wish you all good luck; I will certainly be crossing all my fingers for you. But for now, all we can do is prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
That’s all I’ve got for today. I will write soon!