The Life-Changing Decision I'm Prepared to Make

I read and read, and re-read again for clarity; my eyes were slowly adjusting to the hard and truthful fact that I was staring at an early acceptance letter from Smith College
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This is part of our monthly series 'Mission: Accepted,' in partnership with Minds Matter, which chronicles the lives of four students as they apply for college in their senior year.

The polar vortex has finally passed, and I am currently taking in the wonderful fresh air that accompanies the spring fling. Even though there were a couple of instances of snow and sluggish days -- and not to mention the still rather fluctuating temperatures -- I must honestly say that the stress from the college application process has dwindled significantly.

With March coming at a close, I have received exciting news from various colleges and scholarships. I am often extremely overjoyed to see a new letter from a college I had applied for, and even my parents can agree that the smile on my face while I open these letters notes that the mail had brought good news. Soon it will be time for me to make a life-changing decision regarding my future college career and education, and I feel prepared to throw down my final verdict with a proud and accomplished hand. So far, I have been accepted to Syracuse University, Lake Forest College and Northwestern University. Yet, the biggest surprise came in the form of an early acceptance letter from Smith College.

If you remember in my previous blog post, Smith College became my top choice postsecondary school and, thus, the college that I pushed myself to do my very best to gain a seat. At the end of a long, stressful day at school, I was not expecting such joy to overcome all feelings of doubt and uncertainty that have built up inside me for a good amount of time. In fact, I was honestly scared to open this letter for fear of deferment. My hands shook tremendously as I slowly broke the seal of the letter, carefully pulled it out, and read each word with caution. I read and read, and re-read again for clarity; my eyes were slowly adjusting to the hard and truthful fact that I was staring at an early acceptance letter from Smith College. My face broke into an enormous grin; I could hear my vocal chords forming into a high-pitched squeal as I handed the letter to my parents. In my overwhelming happiness, I tried explaining what the letter meant, but my jittering and stumbling words in between giggles was enough to send them the message that I had been accepted to my top college. I took back the letter from their hands and raced to the computer scanner -- I just had to spread the news to my Minds Matter mentors!

Being an early acceptance letter, I know that it holds a good deal of importance for me. The letter stated that I was among one of the strongest applicants in the acceptance pool, and in two-weeks I would be notified about my financial aid package. For the next several weeks while waiting for said package, I beamed and laughed and enjoyed myself at school and at home; now comforted and excited by this revelation that I am indeed going to college -- and especially Smith College! Additionally, I received another package from the college last week, and this one contained a T-shirt with "Smith" imprinted across the front. Immediately, I put on this T-shirt and felt absolutely confident. The wait is officially over, and I can now proudly say that I am set for success and ready to challenge myself to another wonderful four years of education and career-planning. I have officially become part of Smith College's Class of 2018, and I am prepared to handle the rigors and expectations of college life with an open mind.

My early acceptance was not entirely my doing, though. If it were not for my Minds Matter mentors, I would have not discovered this amazing college; without their guidance and advice, I would have never met Norma Melgoza, one of Smith College's alumni, and have been invited to their prospective tea meeting. Even though I still would have found out about Smith College by my own means, I would not have had the close connections that I have established with Smith College thanks to my mentors' diligence, persistence and encouragement in the face of utter doubt. Therefore, I wish to send my biggest and grandest thanks and appreciation to my two mentors who have been there for me for the past three years:

To my mentors, thank you so much for helping me through this sometimes chaotic and stressful college application process. This also applies to every person that has helped us, the seniors students, get this far in our education. Even though we all have our own issues to deal with on our own times, the fact that we come together to work toward a brighter future for ourselves, as well as the counselors, the mentors, and the teachers, is what continues to inspire young individuals like me and many other prospective students to keep reaching for our dreams -- because we have someone that constantly believes that we are meant for so much more.