First Choice This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I have always wondered what it would actually be like living in college, going to classes every day, partying all night and maybe studying a little in between. Now, as senior year comes to a close and my college years rapidly approach, the thoughts are becoming realities. Questions keep circling in my mind: What will my roommate be like? Will we get along? Will there be a variety of guys on campus? I can only begin to speculate the answers to these questions and pray that my college nightmares do not become reality.

When I was younger, I always imagined myself at a prestigious Ivy League school like Harvard with a green campus and beautiful old buildings lining the quads. When I got into high school I realized my dream of an Ivy League school was just that – only a dream. I never took into account SAT scores, AP classes, ACT tests, honors classes, extracurricular activities, all of which basically determine where a student goes to college. I naively believed that everyone went anywhere they wanted to go. Once my junior year was complete, my list of schools had narrowed considerably. I applied to the usual state schools like everyone else in my grade, and a couple of safe schools (just in case things didn’t turn out quite as I hoped), and I applied early decision to a reach school, which happened to be the one school I desperately wanted to go to.

I waited three months to hear from my first choice. Every day I took trips to the mailbox praying the letter would arrive. Finally, on a rather unassuming day, as I innocently wandered to the mailbox, I saw a small envelope with “my” school’s emblem on it. My hands began to shake, my mouth went dry and my pulse began to race. I darted into the house and ran into my room. l wanted to tear open the letter, but nobody was home with me. I knew I could not let it just sit there and wait until someone came home. If I waited, I would die of anticipation. Finally, I took a deep breath and slowly opened the top of the envelope. I was nervous, because I had been told that if you get a small letter, it probably means bad news. I didn’t care, I had to know. I tried to reason with myself, I kept saying “If you don’t get in, it’s not the end of the world.” (Yeah, right). Carefully, I pulled the letter containing my future out of the envelope. I rubbed my good-luck stone, and began to read. My heart began pounding and tears came to my eyes. I tried to scream, but words would not come out. I had to re-read the letter to make sure I saw it correctly. I quickly grabbed the phone and called my father to tell him the good news. My dream had come true; I was going to my first-choice university!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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