It all happened four days ago.

Ever since I heard about my cousin getting in to UC Berkeley, back when I was in the 9th grade, I began to look into school. But I knew I fell into absolute, true love when I walked on its campus back in the summer of 10th grade. On my first step in, it felt like home. I bought a sweatshirt that read Berkeley and brought back home several brochures. Before IB started, the wall in front of my desk already held several banners and posters of several universities, from the ivy leagues to the UCs. But the dark blue and gold stood smack in the middle – UC Berkeley was my dream.

Every time someone asked me what my reach school or dream school was, I’d say the same. I’d tell them that I didn’t think I stood a chance, but I was going to work for it. Every time I sported the sweatshirt, I’d smile with dreamy pride, hoping I’d be able to truly rep it one day. As IB progressed through first semester of 11th grade, I didn’t think my grades didn’t seemed to fit into its upper quartile, and I felt as though I was distant from ever reaching my dream.

So I worked.

I worked and worked and worked, learnt from every single mistake and never gave up. I fell into traps of wanting to over-achieve past my potential or what people thought of me, and I personally think I’ve done well. Yet, when college applications began, the insecurity hit once again and I thought I wasn’t going to get in anywhere.

Keeping away modesty for a second, and being absolutely honest, I was shown wrong with nine acceptances to the point of Berkeley. I was happy at every step from the first admission to UNC. I thought it was home, and the process repeated for every university that followed.

So when UCB decisions were out on Friday morning, I was rather calm. I told myself to take the predicted rejection in a good way, and if it weren’t for UCB, I could still be a something else. Every time I refreshed the portal, I’d close my eyes and pray however, even though the decision wasn’t out at the presupposed time. On the way to school with my Dad, I told him I was going to be okay if I were to be rejected from UCB and I even began to imagine the rejection letter. When decisions were released, I sat in a corner of a room at school and heard the bad news from different sides of the grade coming in. My portal was still not open by me. Do I open it? Do I not? I kept thinking out loud to my Psychology friends. At one point, without telling anybody, I closed my eyes and logged into the portal.

Congratulations and Welcome to UC Berkeley, were the first few words that caught my eye.

Huh? Hold up.

My hands began to shake and my eyes began to tear up. I skimmed the first paragraph once and let out squeakingly, “Guys, I got into UC Berkeley”. The words that I never thought were to ever be a dream come true, were said.

I teared up more and cried happy tears infront of my teacher and my friends, who hugged me and congratulated me for the next few minutes, hours and days up today. But at that moment, the only thing that kept flashing was me walking on the campus of UCB two years ago, crying to my Dad at the end of the orientation that I didn’t think I could ever get in.

But I did it.

As much as that grain or inch or pot of luck stood by me, I worked so hard for this.

And not to mention, my best friend, Mounika got in a few minutes later. And what were the chances or odds of both of us getting into my dream school ever in this universe? Miracles, karma and god’s plan. We’ve been good people, we’ve had our plate of fortune and maybe this was our reward that we’re honored to reap now.

To every good person out there who’re probably worried about their college admissions or disappointed that they’re not in a college they think they deserve, don’t make that decision just yet. We were lucky to have our moment now, but you’ll have it later – trust me on this. Keep working and keep shining. Don’t let a rejection take your heart. Because it isn’t what the label gives you, it’s what you do with the label.

And while UCB has been my dream, I’m still looking out at UCLA for a while to make sure I make the right choices with the rigor and courses offered. Either way, I’m going to make sure I stay the grounded person I was in high school and carry herself out to the real world – because that is what matters. And for people who feel like they haven’t got what they deserved, it’s probably understandably really hard to believe any of this – but it’s true, weigh it out in the long run.

We’re all going to be okay, with our little own set of miracles.


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