Mar 31, 2017

The American (Education) Dream

Hello people!!! *echoes into an empty web space*

I am half-wrecked by A Level trials. Whenever I exit the examination hall, one sentence runs through my mind, "You're a dishonour to your family."

Only some of the time, which happens really rarely, I would say, "May, your effort for the past three months is worthwhile."

Anyway, that is not really the intention of me writing this post. I need a space to properly channel the remains of my euphoria for me to function normally (which is to continue studying for the remaining of my trials). So I'm going to talk about a part of my life journey that had been difficult but very rewarding: US applications.

All my friends know I'm the 'US-over-UK' girl. I guess my face always lights up whenever I talk about US education, especially when the person I'm talking to is not familiar with it. I'm like, "Come, allow me to show you what US education can offer!"

I've always wanted to study in the US. There's this brief moment when I thought of studying in the UK because I like the old, classic, Victorian, Gothic British architecture but that was all and that was when I didn't know the difference between a standard British education and a standard American education.

Along the way, through months and years of trying to find what I want to study in the future, I kinda decided to study physics-related things and also philosophy, religion, language but there's no possible way to do that all at once in a degree. Then the US education came... the glorious Core curriculum. *confetti drops*

I also really like the idea of not having to declare my major as soon as I enter a US university because I have no idea whether I really wanna do physics for my whole life. The idea of becoming a physicist is cool but very vague at the same time. So, US education allows me to try it first and if I find myself leaning towards some other fields, I can change!

Doing A Levels and pursuing US colleges can be a little difficult. I had to divide my time for SATs, A Levels, UK personal statement, US personal statement and supplementary essays and of course, other extra-curricular activities! There was this one week when SAT subjects tests, PAT (Oxford Physics Aptitude Test) and Diwali were on the same week and I was glad I didn't die from that. And there was also another week when I had my SAT the day right after I finished my semester exams. I am very lucky to have my family, friends and teachers who have been supporting me during those times, before those times and after those times (now).

I wrote tonnes of essays because I applied to 8 colleges. I was super scared I didn't get into any so that was why I applied to a lot of universities (YK university list is crazy!). Three months after I sent all my applications, the decisions are now out! During those three months, I seriously couldn't have a night without worrying about my US decisions. I tried really hard to open my heart for a UK education because I would probably get rejected by all the US universities and I don't want to get demotivated just because I couldn't go to where I've always wanted to study. I tried to get that Imperial vibes but no man, I still cannot think of being in a university studying physics all the time. I will go crazy! (My wise friend commented, "But I thought that's what you have to do if you want to become a physicist?" I returned a meek smile.)

I guess all the worries now end here. I am rejected by 5 of the universities I applied but seriously, with all my heart, I am grateful to say that I am too happy with my acceptances to feel sad for my rejections. And I know surely that no one reads my blog, or very little, so I don't have to think much of containing my happiness hahaha

I receive admissions to the Class of 2021 of UC Los Angeles, UC Berkeley and University of Chicago!!! *screams infinitely*

I expected 8 rejections so this really, my God, makes me happy. I can't express in words how grateful I am. Really, I am really really grateful. I probably will head to UChicago because I have a soft spot for how quirky it is (best proof: click here and don't forget to read all the past prompts!). My UChicago essays were written from my heart (eww haha) with touches of creativity and boldness. I just don't know why but UChicago seems so similar to Permata, except that it's bigger, more diverse, more challenging and all the 'more's. UChicago is, in fact, in my 'impossible' list so when I received a 'congratulations' e-mail, oh God that moment.. *speechless*

I should also express my gratitude to all the UK universities which accepted me. So, thank you Imperial, UCL, King's College London and Edinburgh.

God, I can feel myself getting breathless and my stomach performing somersaults whenever I think about all these acceptances. So much had happened. A little more before I face my real A Levels and graduate from KY. Now, I just hope the best for everybody. For all my YK and KY friends, I hope we can all satisfy our universities' and sponsors' requirements. We have come this far, so let's do this!