What Getting Into My Dream School Made Me Realize

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.

I signed into the University of Pennsylvania decision portal March 27 at 5:00 p.m., exactly when decisions would be posted. Déjà vu. We've been here before, about three months earlier. I still remember it clearly, December 16, the day I was deferred from the early decision pool. But this time was different. My emotions were different. I wasn't as nervous or anxious as before. I was... excited. As odd as that sounds. I had already had three months to prepare myself for this decision. I knew what could happen and I was ready for both the good news and the bad news.

I sat on the couch, next to my mother, calmly entering my username and password. Then, I pressed submit, crossed my fingers, squinted my eyes, and waited as the page loaded, seemingly slower than ever. There it was, "Hurrah Hurrah Pennsylvania... Congratulations!" I can't even explain all the emotions I felt at that moment. I was ecstatic. All I could do was yell, "I got in! I got in! Mom, I got in!" Tears of joy streamed down my face and it hugged my mother. I couldn't believe it. I actually did it.

The whole college application process was definitely a bumpy roller coaster and very stressful. Nevertheless, it was a great experience. All of it made this moment that much more worth it. Along the way I learned a lot of valuable lessons -- such as not letting the stress consume me, and accepting that not everything can be in my control. Getting my acceptance letter from Penn just brought together my last 13 years. All the hard work I've done, everything I've invested into my education finally paid off. It also made me realize how powerful my own mind is.

I set this goal for myself two years ago, I visualized myself there and did everything I could to make sure I accomplished it. Now I will be going to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, the school of my dreams, with a full scholarship -- proving to myself that I'm capable of that and so much more.

The amount of peace and stress-free happiness I feel as I apply for campus housing and color-coordinate with my roommate is unlike anything I've felt in many years of high school. These last few months will be filled with fun, relaxed memory-making moments, and also a bit of laziness as I know it's not long until I'm back at it again, on track to reach my next goals.