“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Last Saturday came as somewhat of a surprise. I had expected the day to be the usual–my mornings beginning around 10 (if I manage to wake up); clearing my foggy mind as I walked out of bed to the kitchen; eating something I convinced myself was healthy; walking with my eager dog approximately a half a mile until he had decided that he would walk no more and plop his obese doggy butt down in the middle of the street ( I always have to carry him back during the last leg of our “walk”).

With college admission letters nearing and multiple tests for AP classes looming in the week ahead, I had no intention of even giving a split thought of what would happen one week, a day, or even just an hour into the future. This is partly due to the fact that I was well-apprised that that Saturday was my only day-off for a couple of weeks, but more so my subconscious desire to reject everything that could go wrong. I didn’t want to stress myself even more than I already was, because high school was enough, and the thought of college still stirs an uneasy feeling inside of my weak stomache. In the words of my (in)famous government teacher, the thought of college “…is going to give me an aneurysm.”

It’s ironic that I am so strongly motivated to leave high school and start afresh in a place less ghetto and where I am not fearful of myself getting shot on the way walking back home, yet I’m reluctant to even think about where I actually should go.

That peaceful, serene Saturday morning was shattered by one envelope from the post, which was sent from Brown University. I don’t even remember what I was thinking when I saw the mail, because I was tearing it open the second I saw from whom it was from.

This is very nice cardstock, I thought to myself.

Surely they wouldn’t mail very nice cardstock to those who are rejected.

I opened what seemed to be a panel leaflet with the revered, IVY-league name, Brown, on its cover to find fancy paper stating that I have been accepted. The letter had been an early notification of my acceptance.

I, of course, had done what any ecstatic senior who just had been accepted to his/her dream school would have done: I jumped and screamed and ran and jumped again (this time, jumping so high that I bumped my head on the ceiling). I ran towards my brother who looked at the letter unimpressed, but he still said his obligatory congratulations and whatever those seemingly-unimpressed-at-your-IVY-league-acceptance people say.

I called my dad. He said, “Good job!” And my mom didn’t even bother answering, but I didn’t feel bad because that type of treatment was normal. I called my sister, managing to evoke, with her half-hearted enthusiasm, her congratulations as well.

Immune to the poorly-conjured excitement of my family, I went back inside my room, and studied the letter again closely. Because soon, my reality had decided that what had just happened had been too good to be true, and that surely, I was being punked. But eventually, I came to terms with the surreal letter.

Where’s Rhode Island anyway? Oh crap, doesn’t it snow there? What the heck is Brown even known for again? 

These questions raced through my mind. I had realized that I had been so unprepared for what to do in the case that I was accepted. What in the world had I gotten myself into–I had reluctantly applied to a school that was across the entire country and was accepted early. Of course I felt overjoyed, but I was more scared now that I was accepted, because I didn’t know what would happen next, or simply even what to do next.

I stressed at the thought of leaving, even though I had yearned to escape for the longest time. I desperately wanted for school to end quickly, and now, I couldn’t decide whether I still hoped for that or not. My fear of the unknown and all its mysteries was stronger than my desperation for the end of high school.

So now, I am stuck in a trance. I’m apprehensively waiting for the rest of my college admission decisions, and now that I have been caught by surprise by one, I am more anxious than ever. I fear rejection, but I fear what lies ahead of being accepted more.  Perhaps I should ask myself:

What would I do if I wasn’t scared? 

I spent the rest of my Saturday thinking about what this meant for me||


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