Saturday, April 25, 2009

and so it begins...

Yesterday afternoon, I was notified that I was accepted at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The anxiety had really gotten to me--I had felt sick all morning, because the stress between UCLA releasing notifications (which weren't actually released until late afternoon) and my two midterms was too much.

Somehow, through some miracles, yesterday ended up being amazing. My Russian history midterm was moved to Monday, I'm sure that I aced my Spanish midterm, I was accepted to UCLA (!), and then went out to a wonderful dinner with my family.

I honestly could not be happier. Being accepted somewhere out of high school is amazing, yes, but it's also a game of luck. I know plenty of ridiculously smart and qualified people that didn't get into where they wanted to go (myself included, ha). gives me a true sense of accomplishment; I know that I worked hard and truly earned my acceptance. There are still no guarantees, of course, but it's a much sturdier ground to be standing on while waiting for these decisions to be made. And I'm not saying that people who got somewhere out of high school didn't earn it, I am SURE that they did, but to be rejected and still work another two years and attempt once again is a trying experience that not all are able to do.

I know that there's a lot of people who thought it was "beneath me" to go to a community college for two years, and at first, I had that same mentality. I was an Honors/AP student all throughout high school, head editor of the yearbook, co-director of the school's literary magazine--and I was going to a community college? No way! My best friend was going to USC, I had friends that were going everywhere from Berkeley to UCLA to Princeton...and I was going to a community college? It just seemed a bit out of the pattern, and it was definitely not where I envisioned myself.

However, as the weather began to cool down and the leaves began to change colors that fall, things had slowly started to fall into place. I was accepted into the Scholars Program, which I can most definitely say changed my life. I met other people who were going through exactly what I was going through, who knew what it felt like to be rejected, who knew what it felt like to be stuck when everyone else seemed to be going places. One of my better friends had been salutatorian of her graduating class and her unlikely rejection to UCLA broke her heart*. All of us came with these sorts of stories and burdens and it really helped us bond a close friendship. To have people going through the exact things that I was going through at the same time was a blessing.

At the end of the day, to a community college ended up being the best thing I've ever done. I not only saved TONS of money, but I made lifelong friends, matured, got my license, got an incredible education, figured out what I want to do with my life, and really began to get a sense of who I am/who I want to become.

I'm still waiting to hear back from Berkeley, and although it would mean the world to me if I got accepted...I've got options, and a future, and I am so, so excited to experience it.

*She just found out she got accepted to UCLA too! :D

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