This has been the strangest year of my life—and while it may be oxymoronic, the only thing that seems to be steady in my life this year is change. I have been pushed beyond my limits, experienced many lasts, and will experience even more firsts. I have constantly wondered if I am good enough—a never-ending comparison game that never ends in happiness. In a few short months, I will start living in a different city, with people I’ve never met before, surrounded by cinder block walls and acres of campus.
When I started this daunting process, I wanted to debunk all of the myths that I heard about what it took. I’m here to say that I made it out to tell the tale!
It was a Thursday afternoon on the busiest week of the year. I was cramming Supreme Court cases for my We the People Competition. I had countless assessments that week, and I was still waiting on my Early Action decision from UVA. It was a day that I had been looking forward to for months—but when I heard admissions decisions would be released in a few hours, I couldn’t contain myself. After track practice, my phone lit up with an influx of texts from all of my friends saying that they had received their news—good news at that. I connected to my hotspot, miraculously remembered my password, and called my mom as I opened it.
The words “Congratulations” flashed across the screen and all of my hours spent dedicated to testing, studying, applying, and stressing suddenly melted away. And while this sounds like a typical “success” story of someone getting in to their dream school, I also wanted to shed some light on what it feels like to not get in—a feeling not as often as outwardly projected.
Not Getting In
One of my favorite schools, Wake Forest—arguably dueling UVA for the prize of being my favorite college—was the last to release its admissions decisions. Of course, it was by mail; and with my luck, my letter came five days after everyone else’s at school. I had a sinking feeling when I opened the mailbox. I was expecting a letter, yes, but one encapsulated by gold and black, not the melancholy manilla envelope I found.
Waitlisted. I was shocked.
Sure, I had gotten rejected from two schools, but this felt different. I figured with my two visits, interview, multiple thank you notes, and personality injected in my essays, I would be a great candidate for Wake Forest. I spent the first day trying to rationalize what went wrong or why they didn’t like me. If I’ve learned one thing during this process, it’s that hard work will get you far, but sometimes, it comes down to factors out of your control. Getting waitlisted was ironically the best thing (in hindsight, definitely didn’t feel like that immediately) that could have happened—it pushed me in the direction that I was meant to go.
The Big Decision
In the end, the top two schools I was considering were the University of Virginia and the University of Richmond. At Richmond, I practically had a full ride due to merit scholarships (a huge draw that was hard to pass up) and it had both the major and the school that intrigued me. But, I loved my tour at UVA, it had the major that interested me, and I especially loved that it was a bit farther away from home.
I always figured I’d go to a few admitted students days and then make my final decision close to the deadline. However, from the moment that I stepped on campus at UVA’s Day on the Lawn, I just knew. With the great academics, vibrant school spirit, and in-state tuition, my ever-present love for Charlottesville resurfaced, and I knew that I had found my new home.
So, if you couldn’t tell, I will be attending the University of Virginia in the fall as a part of the class of 2022!
I am incredibly thrilled to be taking this step in my life and finally (finally!) be done with the college application process. I absolutely could not have completed this process without my incredible parents (especially my mom, who always was willing to proofread my essays), my teachers, and counselors. And of course, I could have not had this amazing experience of documenting my senior year online without Sara!
So I may be signing off for now, but you can find me next year cheering on the Hoos to a March Madness victory. I am so excited for what’s to come! Wahoowa!