The Announcement

It’s either going to say congratulations or it’s not. How crazy is it that the course of my future could be defined by one word – or a lack thereof?

I’m nervous. So nervous that I drank a travel mug full of coffee this morning and spent the entire school day shaking and getting chills and having major tunnel-vision anxiety. I’ve envisioned the announcement so many times over the past few months that, in a way, it feels like a moment I’ve already experienced. I’ve imagined the congratulations and the state of shock and the subsequent squealing because an acceptance is what I want more than anything in the world, probably more than anything I’ve ever wanted before. I’ve also imagined the blank space, the generic greeting, my face falling as my eyes scan the letter hopefully but without much hope.

The thing is, I’ve been so good at not overthinking this. Well, good by my standards. For the most part, I haven’t dwelt on the announcement and have tried to plan for the worst but hope for the best. Every time I caught myself fantasizing about the congratulations, the perfect scenario, I shoved the thought right into a box in the back of my head. But then the release date got moved up and I realized I’m not ready for the illusion to end. Though, statistically, I have a higher chance of being admitted than being rejected, deferral is almost a guarantee. That means three and a half more months of waiting, of agony, of hoping while knowing there’s not much hope.

I’m worried about not getting in, but I’m almost just as worried about how I’m going to handle the result. I overthink, I dwell on things, and I fall deep into my moods. Not receiving a congratulations will inevitably make the next three weeks evermore stressful, as I’ll have quite a few more applications to complete because, despite my planning, I wasn’t able to finish them before the momentous release. How can I put a positive foot forward – toward other hopeful congratulations – if I’m filled with bitterness and self-loathing and spirit-crushing disappointment? I always knew it was a long shot, a crapshoot, if you will, but the idealist in me still hoped. And now the pessimist in me hates her for it.

Tomorrow, we’ll see who was right.