Waitlisted

For the past week, I’ve been waiting to hear from my first choice college about whether I’d get in or not.

The answer I received was not the one I was expecting.

I wasn’t sure if I was expecting an acceptance. The acceptance rate is 46%, so I thought I had a chance. But, then again, I was an out-of-state student and my SAT scores were below the average.

I checked my portal every day hoping for an answer, but then I got an email.

An email telling me I was waitlisted and I don’t even know what to think of it.

On one hand, I still have a chance of getting in, even though the chances of ever getting off the waitlist at any school or program are exceptionally slim. I still had a chance and maybe that was enough hope to hold on to.

On the other hand, it felt like a slap in the face. You’re good enough, but not as good as the other students admitted, not as good as your friends who got admitted while you’re stuck re-reading the words from the email over and over again, telling you to change your plans, your fantasies of how the next four years of your life were going to play out are not going to happen. But, if they don’t come here, we might choose you.

I broke the news to my sister, my aunt, and any friend I could talk too. They all said it was okay and that maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

I hate when people say that and, in that moment, I couldn’t even think about agreeing with them, but maybe they’re right. There’s always an option to potentially transfer or the chance I’ll love the school I end up attending more than I thought. The U.S. is full of amazing schools and I have other top choices I’m still waiting to hear from. So maybe something will work out that turns out to be better for me in the long run, but I’ll just have to wait and see.

Photo Credit: bobleesays.com
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That Time of the Year

It’s that time of the year again! High school seniors all over the country are in the midst of getting their long-awaited college acceptances and those dreaded denials, getting excited about their future and freaking out about tuitions. The only difference is that, this year, I am one of them.

Photo Credit: blog.winuall.com

I remember when I was a sophomore and I watched my roommate, a senior at the time, go through all that stress and she said something along the lines of “believe me, all this will sneak up on you sooner than you’d think.” I thought to myself: that’s what they always say, I’ll have time. Two years are a long time. But, hell, I was wrong!

Now it’s that time of the year and now I am the one pathetically refreshing my email and checking my mail box, hoping to be admitted into at least a safe school. I’ve gotten into two schools so far, but neither of them are my top choice. I don’t even have a top choice anymore, to be honest. I have no idea what country I even want to be in, let alone what school I want to spend my next four years at!

No matter what choice, I’ll be fine (probably). Nevertheless, wish me luck!

 

The Worst Math Problem Yet

Never in my life would I have thought that a teacher could affect me so deeply. I’m not supposed to care that much, I’m supposed to feel more or less indifferent about my teachers, after all, they’re teachers, not my friends.

But today’s news stabbed me in the chest. I know I only have little less than a semester left at this school anyway, but I really hoped he would be here for that.

See, I hate math. And when I say hate, I mean I absolutely despise it. Ever since I was in fifth grade, I’ve been told that I’m bad at it. That’s not necessarily true; I’m not terrible, I just need some more time than others. None of my teachers ever gave me a chance to figure that out. Until last year, when I realized that I can do math, even if I’m not good at it. It sounds like such a small thing, but it made my days at school so much easier.

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Last week, we had a test in math and our teacher told us to write something nice about him for extra credit. I said that, if it wasn’t for him, I would have never even considered taking an AP math class, never in a million years. But here I am, passing the first semester with an A-. I said that I actually feel sort of confident about doing well on the AP test. But now I don’t know, I’m honestly scared.

Even if our new teacher will be great, amazing, perfect, anyone has ever wanted in a math teacher, it won’t be the same. I won’t be excited going into class anymore. I really shouldn’t be going into this with such expectations and I shouldn’t be so dramatic about this. But I am, that’s how I feel, and it makes me so sad.

It’s weird, this really shouldn’t be so important to me. But it is, I care a lot, maybe too much, but I care a lot.

Happy Burnday

Today I am turning 17. Living at boarding school, birthdays are honestly the best. Not only do I get a birthday party and a cake at night, but I also get to spend all day with my friends.

Today has been amazing and I’m so thankful for the people around me that make every birthday so special. But exactly one year ago, my day looked a lot different.

Photo Credit: guideposts.com

I had just found out that my dorm had burnt down. I was just packing to leave again, to get away from the smoke. I had none of my own clothes to wear, none of my belongings with me. My then-boyfriend had just ditched me to hang out with his friend on possibly the worst day of my life. My family was trying so hard to make my sweet sixteen as good and peaceful as possible, but there wasn’t much they could do. My life had just been turned upside down.

I can’t believe that was already a year ago. The hills and trees still look burnt, we still live in mobile homes, and the pictures of the fire still make me sick. It seems like yesterday that I was screaming at the orange skies that were burying the sun behind smoke to go away, to go back to normal, to turn back the time and make this all go away. But there was no turning back, there was nothing left to do. Nothing left to do, besides trying to forget about everything for a day. Trying to imagine that we were going on vacation and not evacuating from a wildfire. Trying to imagine that my friend and I were watching Riverdale in the girls lounge, not on my sofa at home with amber alerts going off next to us. Trying to imagine that everything was like it had been 48 hours earlier.

Now, a year later, I know that nothing is really still the same. We don’t live in the same rooms anymore, we don’t have the same buildings anymore. I know that, and I’m finally beginning to accept that. I know that there is nothing left but to move on.

12 Minutes of Word Vomit!

Photo Credit: Amor Fati/Wordpress.com

I have an existential crisis almost every night.
The fire was a year ago. That scares me.

The music is too loud outside my window and
my eyes hurt from staring at a screen for so long.

I’m having an existential crisis tonight. It’s because of Calculus homework.
I could post about it. Maybe someone will say I’m pretty.

She hasn’t replied to my email yet and I worry that my writing is boring.
But my teacher says I’m good at Spanish, so at least I have that.

My eyes are dry. They almost always are.
I say I’ve never been in love before but that’s not true.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com (and this is supposed to be ironic)

I am in love right now. It’s just the sad kind.

I could post about it. Maybe someone will say I’m pretty.

He likes the finality of writing things down on paper. I like it too. (But as I wrote this, I knew I would type it out later.) I like the way he thinks because he is an intellectual.

It’s not always about the words themselves,
it is about what they mean and how they feel.

My room is too cluttered and so is my mind.

I want to leave my house and live somewhere far away.

My life is a mess and I’m having an existential crisis tonight, but I met a famous person once. And a different famous person has a relative that goes to my school, so I think I will post about it.

I wish I could write songs. They would probably be boring.

And maybe this doesn’t make sense to some people.

Oh well.

Applying or Buying?

I spent $410 last week. No, I didn’t go shopping. No, I didn’t buy all my Christmas presents at once. No, I didn’t have to pay for medical bills.

Photo Credit:  theroarpost.com

I spent $410 on college apps within only a week.

I understand that having to pay some amount of money, to make sure that the people applying to schools actually mean it, and that it takes work to read through my applications and make their decisions. But, why should I have to pay $180 to send my AP scores to the colleges that I might not even get in to?

Personally, I have been able to spend that money on my applications. I didn’t like it, obviously, but I was fine. But, there are enough people in this country that don’t have those $410 to gamble with.

We all know that many families aren’t able to send their children to college because of the insane tuitions. But now, imagine not even being able to apply to the school of your dreams because it is too expensive. I know some people can get fee waivers, but even the fact that this is necessary freaks me out a bit.

I see the reasoning behind all the costs. I see why it would be necessary. I just want to point out how flawed all this is, if you think about it.

One Year

One year ago I remember clearly.

I had my guitar on my shoulder, leaving the warm dorms to trek across the chilly campus to my weekly music lesson, but the air was different than usual.

Everyone was huddled outside, talking as they saw smoke in the distance and hues of red burning in the sky that felt so distant at that moment.

“Are you really going to your lesson right now? There’s a fire,” my friend asked me.

Of course I would go to my lesson. It was my favorite part of Monday nights. Plus, the fire was nowhere near us, nothing would happen, and nothing would change.

Oh, how I was wrong.

Everything changed.

Photo Credit: pbs.org

Yet, so many things stayed the same.

One year later, I’m getting ready to go to my Monday night guitar lesson.

I have a new guitar, but it means so much more now. I appreciate it more now.

I’m still in a dorm room, wondering what I’ll be getting for secret snowflake tomorrow.

But I’m in a new dorm room, with a new roommate, on a new part of campus.

I don’t have the same clothes I had a year ago. The same photos, yearbooks, or blankets.

But, I have the photos I’ve taken since then.

My stuffed animal and All Time Low pillow I saved from the fire.

I still have the memories of the fire.

The ones that haunt me.

The ones that bring me to tears thinking about what I lost, what my friends lost, and what the whole school lost.

But, the memories remind me of how I became a stronger person since.

How my friends became stronger.

How the school became stronger.

How the county’s stronger.

More united.

More appreciated.

I still remember the day I returned from Christmas break and stepped on to campus and moved into the new dorms.

Being welcomed by overwhelming support, welcome back goodie bags, and hugs from my friends.

Seeing my horse for the first time since the fire and knowing he was safe and healthy. That all the other horses were safe.

The fire was so destructive, so horrible, but so many things came out of it that I’m more thankful now for than ever.

It’s been one year and I’m still sensitive to the scent of smoke and fire, to the sound of news about other California fires on the TV.

But, one year later, the mountains are a little greener.

My home is still stronger than ever.

And that’s the most beautiful thing of all.