In the past one and a half years, I have received right around 36.4 pounds of college mail. 36.4 pounds!!!! Makes me wonder how many trees were murdered in the hopeful, but probably highly unsuccessful, quest to find applicants.
November came and the first round of applications were due. I had been writing essays all summer, but the date still crept up on me a little. Never the less, I got them all in on time, and began waiting. I have never been so excited to receive mail in my life. Eagerly, after about two weeks, every day, after practice, before setting foot inside, I would peer nervously into the mailbox, hoping that there was a big fat letter in there for me. Then one day, two big, fat, official looking acceptance letters came. It was like Christmas had come a couple of weeks early. I was beyond excited! I knew for sure that I had somewhere to go next year. What a relief.
December and January were filled with round two of applications, the holidays, and family. A couple more acceptance letters came in, and I was excited to see how my hard work was paying off. In late January, my family took a trip to visit Baylor and Vanderbilt. We all fell in love with Vanderbilt. My sister said,” Might as well buy my sweatshirt now, cause this is where you are going.” She made a bet with me before the trip, that for some reason I don’t recall making, but the bet said that if she called the school I ended up attending, I would have to buy her a sweatshirt. The school and the trip were perfect. Well, except for the fact that it was 17 degrees the entire time we were there. (Side note: I have never been so thankful for the humidity and 60 degree weather that we had when we got back home). I was so excited to have found my number one school.
February brought more waiting, scholarship essays, more thinking, and a trip to University of Denver with my dad. Denver was amazing. My dad and I had a great time touring the campus and exploring the area around Denver. It was such a nice opportunity to be able to go on a daddy daughter trip. We were both impressed with the program that DU had, and especially a selective leadership program in which, if admitted, you live and take classes on leadership with a group of 65 other students, and in the end graduate with a minor in Leadership Studies.
April has been an interesting month. I didn’t get into Vanderbilt and Brown, both of which I was surprisingly okay with. All throughout my college search and application process, both my parents and my prayer has been that God would guide me to where He wanted me. Though it stung a little to get those first rejection letters, I decided to not look at them as rejection letters, but as God closing doors, so He can lead me to the right ones. In the end of April, my mom, sister and I took a girls trip to tour my final two schools: Lewis and Clark College and University of Puget Sound. We saw the schools, explored some state parks, and took in the sights of Washington and Oregon.
I got to meet up with the track coach at Puget Sound to talk about the possibilities of running on his track team. I went into the meeting expecting to be rejected politely because I am a JV level athlete. Not exactly the kind of caliber that I assumed all college coaches would be looking for. I was taken aback when he said that he doesn’t look at times for incoming freshman, all he requires is a good attitude and a willingness to put the effort into getting better. He never asked for my marks and PRs. And the team was so welcoming and just plain awesome.
By the end of the trip, I had narrowed my choices down to Denver and Puget Sound. When I got home, I found out that I was wait listed for the leadership program at Denver and there was a technical difficulty with my application for the Honors program at Denver as well, so I wouldn’t know until after Commitment Day (May 1st) if I would be able to participate in those programs.
After some more research, prayer, deliberation, and lengthy conversations I decided last night on University of Puget Sound. The funny thing about it is that, I applied to UPS last-minute because I thought the campus was pretty, had heard great things about it at a college fair for it and its sister schools, and they offered me a free application. When I applied, I had no intention of actually attending. I guess the pounds of mail, billions of emails, and the numerous phone calls each year are successful; they helped put Puget Sound on the radar for me, and I couldn’t be happier about my decision.