The day is December 14, and scrolling through my Facebook feed, I see the start of the Class of 2021 Facebook posts coming in. It feels like just yesterday that I was in your place and all my classmates were receiving their college acceptance letters. I too had applied Early Decision but had gotten rejected. The decision some of my classmates made the third week of December, I made one day before May 1st, college decision day. A year ago, I had no idea I would end up where I am now: Santa Clara University (Santa Clara/SCU.)
To me, SCU was solely a security blanket. I applied there feeling confident that I would get in. So after getting my Santa Clara acceptance letter, I stored it away, thinking I would get more acceptance letters in the future. Fast forward to the last week of March, when the last college acceptances rolled in, and I looked at my choices: Santa Clara was still on the list.
I flew out to Santa Clara the first weekend of April for Preview Day. To sum up my experience, I loved it. I can still recall that first moment driving into Palm Drive onto campus. It was overcast and slightly drizzling. Although barely 8am, a handful of maroon collared students – the SCU ambassadors – were definitely awake, waving their arms, dancing to the loud music playing from the speaker, and pointing in the direction we should park our car. They were ready to go.
The day passed by quickly. The president of SCU, Father Engh, bragged how half of SCU students meet their future spouse there; Parents laughed. An SCU ambassador gave a speech about how she was hesitant about SCU given its 12 mile proximity to her house. Yet, coming to SCU was the best decision she had ever made. I was amazed by the communication department’s TV studio and radio resources. SCU student ambassadors continuously comment on the gloomy weather. “It’s never like this!” they shouted, smiles on their faces.
That night, I knew Santa Clara was the school for me. But I had also thought that before when visiting another school, Tulane University. Could I picture myself going to Santa Clara? Yes…Maybe? I wasn’t sure. I didn’t get the same feeling that I had gotten from Tulane, where I could absolutely picture myself walking around campus, going to class, and eating in the dining hall. To me, Santa Clara represented the unknown, the maybes, and possibilities. I had no idea what my future there would be like.
Fast forward to the present: I’m currently writing this article on the first week of my month-long winter break from SCU. Being at home away from Santa Clara, it’s given me a lot of time to reflect on my college experience so far. Or rather, it’s given me more time to think about how much I miss SCU and everyone I’ve met there. Yeah, my first quarter in college brought the worst of days, where I would miss home and the familiarity of having my friends and family around. Or the days when I was swamped with so much work, pulling all-nighters and getting frustrated when I couldn’t understand the math homework that was due in a few hours.
But it also brought the best of days and the best people: people who finish their homework early and decide to help you figure out your math homework instead of going off to bed and getting extra sleep, people who aren’t afraid to be just as honest and sarcastic as you are, people who are genuine and real, people who make you question and wonder about themselves, yourself, and the world around you, people who make you laugh constantly. Over this past week, I’ve truly realized the extent to how much I actually love Santa Clara. And I’ve only been here for a quarter.
But back to you high school seniors – although you may have been rejected from your Early Decision school, don’t worry. Hell, even if you get more rejections in the future, concentrate on the acceptances you receive. Those are the ones that matter. If there’s one lesson I learned during the college process, don’t say yes to just one school. Keep your mind open to possibilities.
I came from a world where a school’s reputation, ranking, and low acceptance rate were most important. That’s how people judged if it was a “good school.” But honestly, “good schools” are subjective. What’s important is that you find a school that accepts you for who you are presently and who you are going to be; that you find a school that allows you to succeed and grow as a person, both inside and outside the classroom.
You’ll hear this advice so many times throughout the year but it’s so true: It. Will. All. Work. Out. Come May, you might be scared if you made the right choice. That’s okay. And if you’re anything like me, you won’t realize how much you love your school until you actually start the school year and experience everything that your school has to offer. And you’re going to realize how much you love it.
Love, a Happy Bronco
Is there anything you’d like to add to this open letter to high school seniors? Share in the comments below!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.