A long, long time ago, I was a Tae Kwon Do artist. Since then, I’ve almost entirely lost my pelvis and hip flexibility, forgotten most of the forms, and lost my ability to kick effectively. Til this day, however, I still remember the Tenets of Tae Kwon Do. They are as follows: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. I’ll be talking about perseverance today.
Many of you already know this, but I was a Kinesiology/Pre-Physical Therapy major last year. With no declared major in my second year at Fullerton College, I felt the field fit my enthusiasm for health and fitness. I talked to the transfer counselors, conducted some research, and found that Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) and San Diego State University (SDSU) would best fit me. My major was well recognized at those two schools. With a 4.0 GPA, I felt confident in getting accepted into both.
When Spring came, I received the two rejection letters and my plans shattered. I felt pretty useless. Whereas many of my friends and colleagues were getting accepted into their respective schools, I would have to rethink my future. I wrote my thoughts in a blog the night I received my second rejection letter. You could read it here.
I’m glad this happened.
Upon getting rejected, and with ~1 month of constant reflection, I learned about and switched my major to International Relations (IR). IR is one of many subfields in political science. During the fall semester, I learned about UCLA’s Global Studies program, which is very similar. I decided to apply to four schools this school year:
UC Davis – International Relations
UC San Diego – Political Science/International Relations
UCLA – Global Studies
UC Berkeley – Political Science
All four schools post their decisions via e-mail and/or their official website beginning mid March to late April. In mid March, UCSD accepted me. I was more relieved than happy. Fullerton College has a program called TAG which guarantees admission to UCSD if I fulfill all the requirements. Because I had done so, I had already expected to be accepted.
A month later, in mid April, UC Davis accepted me. I was more content than happy, for UCSD was more selective than the former. However, I felt better knowing I had multiple options.
Due to my rejection from CSULB and SDSU last year, I didn’t have any expectations for UCLA and Berkeley. Having already visited UCSD and thoroughly enjoyed the campus, I felt there was a big possibility in attending the school.
UCLA sends out notifications in late April, while Berkeley sends out its replies on April 29th. Ever since the middle of April, I checked my e-mail at least 20 times a day awaiting their replies. That included being in friends’ homes and on public computers. The anxiety built up every day.
Exactly one week ago on Monday, I came home and went on the UCLA admission site. “Decisions for most transfers have been posted on our admission site.” Panic. Rush. Anxiety. Adrenaline. Imagine all of that at once, and that’s what I felt.
When I finally entered the log-in information correctly (which felt like a decade, I might add), I awaited the delay to log into the decision page (which also felt like a decade). I read the words “Congratulations on you” and stopped reading. I jumped up and almost hit the ceiling. I screamed and shouted. I banged my knee on the table as I ran out with my arms raised. I went to my dad and hugged him, and surprised myself when I cried for just a second. My grandma came out of the room, for I had awoken her from her nap. Finally, I came back to my room to read the read of the message.
Congratulations on your application. However, we’re sorry to inform you that your…
Just kidding. I was accepted into UCLA. I had trouble sleeping from that night until Thursday due to happiness. I had never seen my family so happy before. For all the reasons I mentioned above, they weren’t having high hopes of my admittance as well. I hadn’t been so happy in a long time. I was keen on attending UCLA, for I had already visited and slept over at the campus several times.
With being 3/3 on the schools so far, only Berkeley was left. I’ll be honest… I applied to Berkeley for fun. They didn’t specifically have IR or Global Studies, so I applied as a Political Science major just to see if they’d even consider me. The program does have an emphasis on IR, but the bachelor’s degree would be presented only as Political Science. I was keen on going to LA; no way I would get into Berkeley.
I got back from work on Friday and played some Starcraft 2. I destroyed my opponents with my team members until 4:00pm, where I visited Berkeley’s decision site. “The site is being updated – we apologize for any inconvenience.” I told my two teammates on Skype that they were probably updating the decisions. 10 minutes later, I checked. The site had been updated. I entered my log-in information.
UC Berkeley accepted me. I reacted quite the opposite to UCLA. I didn’t scream, I didn’t jump, and I didn’t cry. I didn’t even say anything for several seconds. I just walked to my sisters room and said “Berkeley accepted me.” I was in utter shock.
Three days later, I’m still high knowing that every school I applied to accepted me. Granted, I am now stressed about which school to choose, but it’s “a good dilemma to have.” Many things could have happened when I was rejected last year. I could have stuck with my major. I could have taken a different course. I could have this, and I could have that. What I chose, however, I did so with perseverance. I’m glad that I didn’t lose any incentive to try my best.
The rewards and the feelings have been worth the time and effort. This is a good time in my life.