why i declined my admission into harvard...
This past winter I got the call that most high schools seniors could only dream of. A likely call - my application had just been read and I had gotten the rubber stamp - I got in. Even now I wish I had the footage of that moment, but like all great moments, it couldn't have been planned. It was unexpected in all of the best ways. I still remember falling to the ground in my happiness, the tears running down my cheeks as my parents asked what was wrong. This was the break I had been waiting for. This for all intents and purposes felt like my next step and at that moment it was. I didn't care about the possible costs or details, those things I thought would fall into place. If I was meant to be there that God would make a way. Fast forward to Ivy Day and unlike all the other "normal" Harvard hopefuls wondering whether they'd find there opening. I knew. I knew that I had already gotten into the #1 school in America - if not the world, and I was ecstatic to see the official notification. I had worked towards this my entire life so I'd be lying if I said that I hated to see the fruits of my labor.
Yet, deep down I knew that my bigger question was financial aid. Living in a family of 6, I knew that I couldn't afford to pay anywhere near the costs of tuition and board. I knew that the odds weren't necessarily in my favor considering my family's financial situation, but I also knew that where there's a will there's a way. So I waited for my financial award and unsurprisingly I was greeted with the costs of an Ivy education. As you may expect I appealed the decision and saw a slight increase in how much I was given, but nowhere near what was needed in order for me to go. At this point, I looked for last-minute scholarships and hoped that some of the bigger scholarships I applied for would pan out, but they didn't.
Even now while reflecting on that fateful decision I sometimes wonder about the what ifs. What if I had chosen to go to Harvard? Would funding have appeared had I taken a step of faith? But as more days past I've realized that I'm actually super excited to go to Washington and Lee. This is a place that I have visited multiple times and have loved. I may not be going to the ivy league but I'm definitely not settling for a school that is any less rigorous education-wise.