College Acceptance: A Validation of Self-worth

UC Berkeley will release its decisions at the end of the month, on March 30th.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m stressed, that I’m hoping against hope for an acceptance. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was pretty torn up about getting rejected from Stanford, from UCLA. I’m not ashamed to admit that I care, on a deeply personal level.

I poured my heart out for my personal statements; I spent hours trying to force myself to memorize every formula I needed for the AP Calculus BC final; I made dozens of phone calls to ensure that my transcripts were being mailed out on time; I think about college day and night.

For me, and for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of others, applying to college is more than filling out a form and writing a few essays. It’s not even selling yourself; after all, universities are the ones charging.

It’s tearing yourself open and laying your heart and soul and blood and sweat and tears out on a table, and then chasing after colleges and paying them to glance over and give you a chance. It’s giving faceless admissions officers VIP passes to your vulnerabilities and failures, and hoping that they think you have the right ratio of human to perfect to send you that elusive acceptance letter.

So rejection hurts, and acceptance is a relief. Finally, you think. I’m good enough. But that’s only if you get accepted. Rejection is more than a bruise or a scrape or a minor issue; it’s consuming. Because a college rejection rejects you on a very personal level – they know your life stories, your struggles. And they still don’t want you. And maybe the most painful thing of all is that you were qualified – your GPA was high enough, as were your test scores. You had a glittering resume of extracurricular activities, and you had amazing time management, and you didn’t get in because this year, College X was looking for nationally competitive crocheters. Too many speech and debaters are already in the system, and you fall by the wayside.

At the end of March it’ll be over. And by May 1st, we’ll have committed to a school. But until then, we pray for acceptance.

Hopefully, eventually, we can accept ourselves as well, and measure our worth by our own metrics, not by the colleges we get into.

written for daily prompt: acceptance



I think I have a lot of goals that I end up not achieving, and I feel like that’s pretty common across the board – having aspirations that end up meeting their expiration dates before they can be fulfilled, dreaming dreams that get set aside, or archived, or forgotten. Everyone has dead dreams, from things like saving up enough to buy a Barbie at age 6, to learning Farsi, to gaining admittance to an Ivy League, to scoring that promotion, to falling in mutual love, to so many other things.

And so I had dreams to go to Stanford, to have a 4.0 unweighted GPA, to qualify to speech and debate nationals and to not burn out by senior year. Dreams to learn magic, go to Hogwarts, or maybe just one day turn into a dragon. I remember wanting to be a dragon, and I remember wanting to be first in class, and on some level I’m pretty sure I still harbor that want, just not the drive. After all, Stanford sent me their rejection letter months ago, and if I were destined to be a dragon, it probably would’ve happened by now, right?

I feel like this got a little depressing! But hey, trying to keep it real. And I think overall, it’s pretty chill.

Because retrospectively, I think that everything that I have failed to achieve thus far isn’t necessarily going to make it or break it for me in terms of future long-term happiness. I still have a ton of dreams – dreams to go on more noodleventures, dreams to publish a book, dreams of success and happiness and things like that; I have a lot of goals that I believe aren’t just shots in the dark.

I like to think that my future is bright with the light from an egg yolk sun, even though I’d probably be inside to avoid the UV rays and all that. So I guess for me right now, it’s not all about the figurative sunshine itself, it’s more about what it represents.

I believe in dreaming.