It was a normal Friday and also the last period of the day, when I sat in a desk beside an incompetent middle schooler drafting her introduction for an approaching poetry competition. The rest of the elementary and middle students I coached pulled at one another’s hair, critiqued each other’s performances, and watched me lose my mind. After an explanation, I noticed a ding.
I had received an email from the University of Texas at Austin.
My heart stopped, and I gasped, only to alarm the rest of the students.
Once I explained that my future was sitting in my inbox, all the students were crowded around my desk and chanting “open it! open it! open it!”. I didn’t want them to see me cry, so I insisted not to. Once a rather ADORABLY chubby fourth grader inscribed “#OPEN IT” on the whiteboard, I decided to take a leap of faith.
I saw the word “Congratulations” and lost my mind. Soon all of us were screaming, dancing, and embracing one another.
I was a longhorn! Within minutes, the entire school was in cahoots, embracing me and making me feel nothing less than the happiest person in the world. There were some tears, phone calls, many smiles, and even a dramatic toss-my-backpack-on-the- floor- before-running-into-arms type of hug. In fact, at the bus stop, I was greeted by a former teacher leaping out of her car to congratulate me. It was amazing, and I couldn’t feel more loved. I was SO happy.
It was crazy to think about all the times I gave up on this goal. It was crazy to think that just the day before, I had convinced myself on opting for another college by admitting that I wasn’t good enough over an hour long phone call to a friend.
Since I began my high school career, my biggest wish had been to become accepted in UT, and after much stress, the SATs, deep discussions, anxiety, prayers, breakdowns, and all nighters… the day I had been waiting for as a (less) scrawny freshman was finally here.
I want to begin by thanking every and any one who made this day possible. I want to thank my family, teachers, and friends who continued to urge, prepare, consult and encourage me when I no longer believed in myself. Those who still pick me up, dust me off, and continue to guide me. Those who tolerate my psychotic ramblings and impromptu dance parties. Those who know how crazy I am, and still love me.
Reader, I’m not telling you this tale to show off or boast. I’m telling you this all to let you know that anything is possible if you work hardly, smartly, and earnestly. That you are stronger, braver, smarter and much, much, much more lovelier than you think. You are unstoppable, and please, never let anyone tell you otherwise.