I got accepted to Stanford last night
I don't really know if I'm happy about it or not. I know that if I'd been rejected I would have been really pissed off and secretly doubted myself.
I just don't have the same elation I experienced last time.
Two years ago I walked out to my mail box with butterflies in my stomach. It felt like I had waited forever and heard back from every other school. But not Stanford. The #2 school in the country. The real test of how I stack up, not only to other undergrads at my school, but undergrads all over the country. Because I am perhaps the world's most competitive little thing on the planet, this was a big deal to me.
As I opened it I caught a glimpse of a circular seal with a lone pine tree in the middle. Yikes.
For a moment I just stared at the white envelope.
Tentatively, I opened the seal.
The first word of the first paragraph of the first page was this: "Congratulations"
Waves of relief and reassuring self confidence washed over me.
I immediately hopped in my car and sped over to Derek's house. As I climbed the steps I pretended to be depressed. I did my best to radiate gloom and embarrassment. He opened the door and I was working up eyes full of tears. I announced that I had been rejected. For a moment I had him, but, knowing me as well as he did, he said, "No you didn't" and I couldn't hold it in, I ran to him, jumped into his arms and we spun around the front room of his little house.
I was so happy.
This is different.
I'm still reaffirmed, but I'm pretty sure I can't go, which is depressing. They didn't offer me any financial aid and they probably won't. There are a million kids who want to get into the program who are willing to pay that they don't mind letting me go.
I don't even really want to take a trip out there for their grad admit day because I know I'll fall in love with the campus and the professors and the program all over again and be tempted to just go throw caution to the wind and go there.
Plus there's the ear doctor.
When I told him last night I could almost feel the effort he had to put into saying congratulations.