I sometimes wonder why we mostly put our thoughts down on paper when times are bad.
Why are we more inclined to introspection when feeling down? Reading through my old diaries I wish I would have put some time apart to write in those moments of happiness as well and not only when feeling sad. I understand that while being ecstatic we only desire to enjoy ourselves but reading about such a pleasurable moment brings back the feeling and reminds you that life until now had its ups and downs.
I’ve spent many months worrying about my college applications and most of my posts on my blog or diary entries until I was done with them have at least one reference to the stress and anxiety I was feeling. I only now notice that I haven’t even written once about the subject since I received the answers on the 28th of March.
One reason for this was that I had hoped for better. But the other one was that I was too happy for having finally achieved what I had worked for in the last 6 years to say the least. And a third reason was that I was already busy preparing for this newly found future and making plans and setting goals for the next 4 years.
Anyway, I will now write what had to be written months ago because I feel the need to share the excitement and because I know I will enjoy reading this sometime in the future.
Yess! I got into Berkeley, UCLA, NYU, North Carolina, Boston, and my safeties. Oh the disappointment of not getting into the Ivies! Oh the jealousy on my desk-mate who got into Stanford! Oh the relief of being accepted somewhere! Oh the joy of being accepted into some great school! Oh the problem of deciding which one to attend! This basically sums up my reactions upon receiving the letters.
After those initial moments passed, I probably needed a few days to process everything and start weighing in the pros and cons of each university in order to decide where and how I will spend the next four years. I ruled Berkeley out pretty quickly because even though it was the most prestigious one I didn’t quite find the right major or courses I wanted to take, plus it has a reputation of a nerd’s school and after years and years of studying so hard and under the control of my strict parents I definitely did not want a similar situation for the next 4 years.
So it was down to NYU and UCLA. First of all, NYU basically means NYC. I had dreamt of living in NY ever since 6th grade when I hang a huge photo of the Brooklyn Bridge on the wall of my room and said “I will go there”. The courses fitted perfectly with my plans: a double major in international relations and marketing as well as a minor in creative writing. Basically everything seemed perfect and I was ready to commit when disaster struck so to say. I learnt that the university has basically no campus whatsoever. Even though it may not seem an important factor the more I thought of it the more I started to rule it out. First of all, in my head college would mean campus, school spirit, going to games, sororities, going out of your dorm and meeting fellow students. Secondly, I am the definition of a sports person. I need a stadium where to run, a pool where to swim, and a gym where to go and sweat away my problems. Thirdly, I thought long and hard about my fantasy of living in NY and decided to be honest with myself. I wasn’t ready for it. I know myself to well to pretend that I, who almost never went out even in my home town and who doesn’t rush into anything would be able to take the Big Apple by storm. Plus, I am still 18, making the idea of clubs and going out to drink a little less probable than it would be in my home country.
And then I started thinking about UCLA and slowly but surely it attracted me more and more each second. I began envisioning myself on the huge campus, always running into people I knew or didn’t but was about to. 27000 people in that university, how can you not find friends and a group of amazing people to hang out with? I saw myself waking up in the morning an going on the stadium to run, I found out about the Global Sibling program in which they pair you with a domestic student to make your transition to university and life abroad easier. I imagined myself on the tennis team, whether I can actually get on the university one or just the club one as well as on the ski and snowboard team, always having who to go with and enjoy the mountain. And beside all the extra activities that I felt the immediate need to start, I actually found the program I want to study. I still have to decide whether it’s the Global Studies or the Political Science focused on International Relations but the main point is I have options. Plus they offer amazing exchange programs all around the world and also a six week program in NY or Shanghai focused on international relations. Students actually met with UN-General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon. This is no longer just MUN’s, this school, a diploma from here and its program can get me into the real UN. Needless to say I was hooked.
And since I was so excited about what was to happen once I reached the campus, I immediately began feeling how useless my last months of high-school are. So in my great excitement I also signed up for a summer program at UCLA in order to get a head-start and start sooner. There is nothing more I can do here, but there sure is too much to do there.
And now, in conclusion, I will come back to the title of the post.
The light at the end of the tunnel stands for escaping. Getting into a good enough university abroad for my parents to let me attend it has been my purpose since I was probably in the 4th grade. It was the only way I saw to get away from home, from the situation in my family and be myself: no pretending, no hiding, and no fear of making them angry.
Having all your dreams come true stands for the fact that in those 8 years in which I had a sole purpose and sacrificed everything for it, a slow change began to happen in my attitude. I began thinking of going to study in The States not as running from something (parents, family environment, my home country) but as running into something better. I feel that with this acceptance, the entire world is opening to me and that my possibilities are truly infinite. I feel that finally my work has been recognised and that the difference between me and my peers will become even more noticeable.That is what I have dreamt of. And so I will reach that light and escape the tunnel I was caught in for so long in less than 3 months. Then I’ll start living my dream.