University of Pennsylvania Acceptance | Teen Ink

University of Pennsylvania Acceptance

April 5, 2019
By astridpaz BRONZE, Carbondale, Pennsylvania
astridpaz BRONZE, Carbondale, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The past couple of years, I have grown to know Kristina  on a personal level as well as within an academic setting. She has consistently been the individual I go to when I am struggling academically or just in need of a friend. Kristina had remained top of the 2019 graduating class since she has arrived back in 2013, for the seventh grade year. This ultimately earned her the title of Valedictorian. She has continuously excelled in academics, earning herself multiple awards, such as Scholar Of The Year. She has competed in Future Business Leaders Of America, where she held positions as Region 22 Secretary and Chapter President. She has also competed in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy Of Science, earning first place awards and perfect scores at both the regional and state level for 6 consecutive years. Kristina has been a member of Student Council, becoming Vice President of the class her senior year. This past fall, Kristina applied to one of the most prestigious universities one can attend, The University Of Pennsylvania (UPenn). December came around and so did the university's decision. Kristina, expecting a rejection was pleasantly surprised to open her email to an acceptance letter from her seemingly “out of reach” school. Kristina is now the second person from from our high school that has been accepted to an Ivy League school, with the first one being Charlie Puza, who went to Harvard. I sat down with Kristina asking how the whole application process went for her, the anticipation that was felt by her as she was waiting for the decision, and everything in between the process as well as after.

I started off by asking Kristina questions concerning the start of the process. I discussed with her what made her initially apply to the University Of Pennsylvania. I was surprised when she announced that she had not applied to any other Ivy League school. Her reasoning for applying to UPenn was solely based on the fact that she was in love with the atmosphere and the campus itself. Kristina went on to say that while visiting Philadelphia for a concert on August 1, 2018 with her brother, who attends a college nearby, she began to walk around the campus for the first time. Kristina says that she never acknowledged UPenn before that day. As she walked around, she began setting a goal for herself, a goal many would not have been able to accomplish. UPenn had captivated her mind. She told me that at that moment, she knew she had to go to UPenn; that there was no other school that could make her feel more at home. Although it seemed like an impossible goal, she did not let her self doubt and perceived weaknesses hold her back. In fact, these uncertainties are what made her try much harder. She began working on her application and did not stop until she was completely satisfied with it. She said she would have regretted looking back at her application and thinking there was more she could have done. Kristina was quoted saying, “I knew I had to give my application absolutely everything I possibly could”. It was this motivation, hard work, and eagerness to attend UPenn that made her the perfect applicant.

I then started to discuss with Kristina the thoughts that were going through her head before and after she ultimately applied. I was curious to know how she was feeling as she waited for an answer from the admissions department at UPenn. She admitted to feeling confident in her work, yet understandably nervous. She states how “agonizing” waiting a month and a half for a decision was to her. Kristina had done everything she possibly could have for her application and she realized that there was nothing else she could do other than wait. She went on to state that she even began to lose hope in her dream of attending UPenn; she began lowering her expectations about the decision and had even started to work on other applications for different colleges. Kristina had the mindset of rejection, as during this time, she believed that she would most likely be attending a different university.

As December rolled around, so did the Ivy League’s acceptance decisions. I asked Kristina how she felt when they came out. It was the email that dictated her future; it was the thing that could either crush her hopes or give her the satisfying feeling of “I did it”. She described that she had convinced herself that opening her UPenn email was just something she would have to do just to get it out of the way as one rips off a bandage, completely expecting a rejection letter. Her heart began to beat rapidly as she thought that just maybe she had a small shot, but she described that the sensical part of her brain was not necessarily invested in it. As Kristina opened her email, she told me she set up a camera to record her initial reaction. When she clicked on the letter, tears began to run down her face. These were not tears of rejection or sadness, but tears of acceptance and pride. Her brain seemed to stop functioning as she was processed the fact that she had made it. Tears fell because all of the hard work and dedication that she had put in for many years had all paid off. As she screamed, “I got in!”, joy and happiness filled her household, and she stated that even her father and brother cried for her. Everyone, including myself, felt outstandingly proud of Kristina.

Now that Kristina put so much work and time into getting into UPenn, I asked her if she thinks she missed out on certain opportunities by accomplishing what she has accomplished. She stated that she dreamed of going to college in the south, and she still wonders if she would like it there. However, she states that this thought is easily pushed to the back of her mind when she remembers how badly she wanted to attend UPenn. Rationally thinking, Kristina says that she is creating many more opportunities for herself by attending UPenn, therefore, she does not regret her choice at all. Her goal is to attend law school in the south after receiving an undergraduate degree, so she could catch up on that missed opportunity of living in the south.

As a last question, I asked Kristina what accomplishment she is most proud of. Her response was not the most obvious answer, which would have been her general acceptance to UPenn, but it instead was how hard she pushed herself in order to be accepted. She stated, “I’m not specifically proud of the acceptance, because acceptances to schools like UPenn can definitely be subjective or hard to predict”. She went on to say that regardless of the decision, she was extremely proud of how much work she put in and how she pursued her goal relentlessly.

As the fall of 2019 comes upon us, Kristina will be stepping onto the campus of The University Of Pennsylvania as a student. She will no longer be a girl with hopes and dreams of attending that school, as she was a year prior. She will be stepping on the hard work and strong determination she held as she was working towards her acceptance. It will be the moment she attends her first class that she will truly think to herself, “I did it”.

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