Better in the End

I’ll admit, I over dramatize situations in the moment without thinking that the universe is working in ways I don’t understand. It’s one of my many flaws. I, also, realize that maybe the situations I’m crying about will be the ones I’m thankful for looking back at them.

Just two weeks ago, I had a different idea of where I wanted to go to college. When I found out I was waitlisted, I had a breakdown just thinking about it. Yesterday, I committed to a university on the other side of the country, a school completely different from the one I wanted to go to and, in some ways, better.

Last year, this university wasn’t even on my radar. When I was asked back in September if I wanted to consider applying to schools in Washington D.C., I laughed. I never even considered D.C., but I applied anyways, just for fun.

Photo Credit: toursofwashingtondc.com

And, by applying, I mean put the application in my Common Application account and completely forget about it. The questions were thought provoking and daunting and my top choice was a school that was supposed to be a safety school. So, I missed the deadline, and I didn’t care.

But, the universe does work in mysterious ways, because the following day, I got an email from the school saying they extended my deadline. Now, I wanted to apply.

It was funny, because right after I applied it quickly became one of my top choices, but I ignored it. I didn’t think I would get in. I didn’t want one of my top schools to be one I didn’t have a chance to get into.

I never thought I would get in. I already got denied and waitlisted from schools with easier acceptance rates and I was getting myself excited about other schools just in case the ones I actually wanted to go to denied me.

Then, last Thursday, I got an email saying decisions would be released at 2:00 pm. The next ten minutes were agonizing; ready to face another rejection letter and accept that I’d go to a school I only really wanted to go to for all the wrong reasons. Then, I opened the portal and clicked the decision. The first words I read were “Congratulations.” Congratulations for being denied? It had to be a mistake, but it wasn’t. I was accepted, I was so happy, and now I’m going to a school on the other side of the country, ready to take on new challenges, a new school, and a new city.

Two weeks ago I was devastated and when my family said something better would come my way, I didn’t believe them. But, they were right for what I want in life, to be immersed into a world of politics, journalism, and law. To have great internship opportunities, explore amazing cities, and study abroad. I couldn’t have ended up in a school better for me.

Those hours of crying were worth it, because if they were hours spent happy, my next four years would be completely different from how they’re going to turn out. I don’t know what will happen. Worst case scenario: I transfer. Best case scenario: I absolutely love the school and spend the next four years there, but one thing’s for sure now: things really do turn out better in the end.

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Growing Up

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

It’s something we all do, but it seems as though no one talks about it.  There’s no step-by-step books, no instructions. Nothing to guide you, nobody that tells you exactly what to do. Yet, everyone acts like they know everything.

No one admits that they mess up, that they don’t know what to do or that they are grasping at straws like the rest of us.  It’s scary to admit I don’t know what I am doing because I feel as though I’ll be standing alone.

I’m scared that in August I will be living on my own.  I’m scared of being on the other side of the country from my mom.  I’m scared of having to figure most things out on my own.

I’m also so excited to start my life.  I’m excited to be in control of what I do.  Most of all, I am excited to show the world who I am and see where it takes me.

longterm

there are so many things I want to do, too many things I want to do, I don’t know if a lifetime is enough time.

study/work with these things:

-race and resistance studies

-gender/feminist studies

– peace studies

-social justice

-journalism… concentration in photo journalism

-cinema/film-making

-gender & sexuality studies

-sociology

-human rights law

do these things:

-move to a big city… more specifically, san francisco, new york, los angeles, or portland.

-develop a stronger sense of self

-see a lot of live music

-spend time in another country

-buy my own house/apartment and decorate it how i want

-fall in love

-fight for a better world, no matter what that means

-make some kind of mark

after everything before this point is done, I will proceed to:

-make a life with someone else

-get married? (this one is still up in the air)

-adopt a kid

these are the things i want to do. hopefully a lifetime is enough time.

 

photo credit: pinterest.com

 

Decisions, Decisions

The past few months have been a game of waiting and then a game of choosing. I applied to 7 colleges, and received acceptances from 5 – Chapman University, California Lutheran University, Sonoma State University, San Jose State University, and UC Merced.

All of these schools seemed like good options to me. A few of them were closer to home than others, and I was just a little unsure if that was something that I wanted or not. I decided against San Jose State and UC Merced for a few different reasons. But there was one college I really wanted to go to, and that was Chapman.

I’ve known many people that have gone to Chapman, and they all love it there. It’s in a great location, the education is great, the campus is beautiful, and the people are extremely nice. The one downfall is that it costs about $58 thousand each year to attend. When I received my acceptance letter, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t get financial aid. But I waited, and waited, until my financial aid letter came. And, unfortunately, my fears came true when I was only offered loans as financial aid. I knew that my family wouldn’t be able to afford that much money for 4 years.

Because of my unfortunate incident with that school, I had to look at the rest of my choice. I knew two of them were out, so it was basically a choice between Sonoma State and Cal Lutheran (Located in Thousand Oaks near LA). They both seemed like really great schools, neither of them were too big, and students seemed to really like both of them. Sonoma is much closer to my house. But, Sonoma is a public school with 5 thousand more students than Cal Lutheran. I visited Sonoma in January, and the one thing I noticed and absolutely loved were the dorms. They were like miniature apartments. They are probably the nicest college dorms I have been in. I visited Cal Lutheran just this past week, and although the dorms were not as nice, the campus was very pretty. I talked to a former student of OVS, and she seems to really like the time she has spent there. She said that the teachers were extremely helpful and that the classes are pretty small – the average class size is below 30, while I know Sonoma state has up to a few hundred in certain classes.

Even after I visited both, I still was unsure what I wanted. Sonoma meant I could visit my friends at home and family much more often. Cal Lutheran meant that I could go to LA and visit my friends that live down here, and also I felt like I would get more help with schoolwork if I needed it.

I was having such a hard time deciding that I went to my good friend for help. She knows a lot about college in general, and had a hard time deciding for herself, so I figured I’d ask how she did it and what her advice was. She asked a question that made it really clear for me that I hadn’t thought of; “Where will you thrive?” I thought for a while and realized that in a school of 9,000 people, even thought considered “small” compared to many universities, I felt that Cal Lutheran would really help me learn more and challenge myself to a point where I will succeed and feel extremely accomplished about it. I started to feel like I would get lost at Sonoma and let me responsibilities slip away from me.

So, that night, I called my parents and talked to them about my decision. Since Cal Lutheran gave me $14,000 dollars per year through a scholarship, it ends up costing about the same (though a little bit more) than the public tuition of Sonoma State, which was a great thing to know. Even though my family is well-off financially, my dad is paying for 2 other kids to go to college, and has paid for 4 years of my private education here at OVS.

In no time, I had paid my enrollment fee and housing deposit for California Lutheran University. I have officially decided where I am going to college and have committed! I was so excited that I even treated myself to a Cal Lutheran sweatshirt, something I felt kind of dorky doing but felt it was appropriate for such a major decision in my life.

Honestly, I was a bit nervous that I was making the wrong decision, but now I feel very confident in it. I feel like it is a very strong and welcoming community that I will fit well in. And, of course, if I end up just hating it – which I completely doubt – I can always transfer somewhere else.

In short, I’m just so glad I have made the decision and committed. The next 4 years of my life are set for me now. Even thought I had initially wanted to attend a different school, I am starting to think that this one will be just as good if not better. I’m a bit nervous to start my first year of college but I’m also excited at the same time. I can’t wait to see what this experience brings me.

New Pets!

I absolutely love animals more than anything. I really do. I love wild animals, and of course, I love pets!

Over the years, my family has had cats, birds, bunnies, guinea pigs, and fish. They have all been pretty amazing pets.

But sadly, this past year, 2 of my cats have died, and the one still living has a fist-sized tumor in his liver. My parents took my cat Smokey to the vet, and she told us we will have to put him down within the next week if he survives for that long. I will miss his so much.

When I found out about it, I couldn’t imagine coming home to a house without my cats, or any pets at all for that matter. So, I was VERY happily surprised when my Mom told me she is going to get a puppy and two kittens!!!

I am completely overwhelmed with excitement right now. My family has never had a dog before. Ever. I have always been so jealous of my friends and other families that have dogs – and now I finally get to have one 🙂

My friend decided she would come help me look for a new dog and kittens that I like, so we took at trip to the Milpitas Humane Society yesterday. There were SO many cute dogs and cats.

I am just so glad my family and I get to adopt a cute animal and provide a home for an animal that needs one.

We’re still searching, and on Monday I am SO EXCITED to go to another humane society with my Mom and hopefully pick out a new member of the family.

Why Me?

October 20, 2011, Thursday morning.

The familiar buzz of my alarm shook me from my sleep. A heavy hand reached over, my drowsy fingers searching for the Dismiss button, rather than the usual Snooze.

I had woken up with one thing on my mind.

I sat up, my hands grabbing the computer and placing it on my lap. I refreshed the awaiting Collegeboard page that was already open on Google Chrome. I signed in again and…

I couldn’t believe it.

Could it be true? Was I too tired? Was I seeing things?

Again. My fingers tapped the refresh button. But the same score prevailed my cyber attack.

My SAT score had increased 240 point since the last test. My cumulative 5 months of straight studying had paid off! Immediately, I ran down the hall screaming for my roommate and Sungjin. Then, happy phone calls to my proud mother and father.

October 21, 2011, Friday evening.

With a heavy feeling in my heart, I checked my phone. The email accounts in my phone did not receive any mail but college junk mail.

It should’ve come by now. It should be here. Maybe…

Thousands of thoughts rushed into my head and I brushed them off. Worrying wouldn’t change anything.

Wishfully thinking, I double checked each email account I had on the internet browser. Nothing…

…until I checked my POP/junk mail folder on my hotmail account.

“National College Match Application Status” sent at 12:01 pm. Goodness, it was already halfway past seven, I should have checked earlier.

My fingers pressed the small icon before my heart was ready for the news.

My eyes couldn’t believe it and my heart beat at 9187431938471 miles an hour.

“Dear Serry,We are pleased to inform you that you have been chosen as a finalist for the 2011 QuestBridge National College Match! “

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHH I’M A FINALIST AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I screamed for joy! My track coach, probably scared out of his wits next to me in the Ojai Valley School Van, said, “No way!”

He had been helping me with these essays before I turned the applications in. Without his help, I don’t believe I would have gotten this far. (Thank you so much!)

Now, my next deadline is November 1. I need to submit all my applications by then and wait until December 1.

But until then, I can’t give up or slow my pace! I just need to try hard and pray even harder. Thank God for how far I’ve come. I can definitely see his hand working in my life, molding the paths I take. Although I know that this is just one step of the way, I am confident that God will lead me to the right direction.