Note: In anticipation of arriving at Stanford in just a few months, I thought it would be cool to share the reflection I wrote a few weeks after I got accepted. This has been sitting in my drafts for a while, and it sat there as I went back and forth, unsure if I should publish it or not. As this post already suggests, I decided to publish this out there, at the very least for my own memory. I hope you enjoy it!
December 11, 2015, otherwise known as Decision Day.
I had put the last touches on my application and sent it off a little over six weeks prior, applying during the Restrictive Early Action round. It was the first application I sent off ever, so I had no idea what the wait would be like – indeed, I couldn’t let go of the nauseating feeling I had deep in the pit of my stomach in the week leading up to the 11th. I probably had at most nine hours of sleep spread out over the four nights, tops. I would lie restless at night trying to convince myself to sleep and would wake up feeling queasy in the morning, trying to distract myself with a cup of coffee that would shake in my hand whenever I tried to take a sip. I slogged through the week in this miserable manner, each day seemingly slower than the last, the school days becoming a blur of RICE tables, Macbeth, and Taylor polynomials. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday.
Friday. I put on all of the Stanford gear I owned: a well-loved jacket and a gray tee. In retrospect, it must’ve looked like I was preparing to get accepted, but (as I had explained to my friends) I thought it was going to be the last day I’d ever be able to wear my gear – the minute I get rejected, I’ll donate them, I thought.
3:59 pm, less than a minute away from discovering my fate. Would I get in? Would I not? And more importantly, would I have to finish more Common Apps?
Thunder and lightning. Enter three witches.
4:00 PM. It was after school, and I was at a Model UN meeting. Technically, I was supposed to be running it, but my board was very lenient (and understood just how important this was to me), so I borrowed my advisor’s desktop and sat to the side while an MUN meeting was running in my periphery.
Would I get in? Would I not? And more importantly, would I have to finish more Common Apps?
According to my MUN advisor, who was a few feet away from me when I read the admissions letter, when I read that I got in, I made a little squeaking sound and jumped out of my seat while shouting, “Oh my god, I got in!” like a crazed maniac. Apparently everyone in the room started clapping, but I guess I didn’t remember because I was already running out of the building hoping to get service and immediately call my parents.
I wish I had filmed my reaction, but to be honest it likely wouldn’t have been much: just a lot of shouting, crying, and blurry, unattractive close-ups of my face. However, I did manage to capture a selfie of how I felt immediately after finding out I was accepted:
Above everything, however, I felt an overwhelming feeling of relief when I realized I wouldn’t have to write any more Common App essays.
Calls would be made in the minutes following my acceptance to my parents, then my teachers, then my relatives, then my parents again. I’d made a pact with friends who had also applied to Stanford to text each other as decisions were being made, so the moment was bittersweet when I found out I wouldn’t be going to the same school as some of my friends. I’d eventually withdraw my application from other schools (and thank god too, as I was most definitely not prepared for my Harvard interview and was totally ready to bomb it). And a few weeks later, I would receive my acceptance envelope:
I’d never felt more elated.
Until next time,