Failure and Success, All Melded Together

Back in January I sent off an application to Pippa’s boarding school for a post-graduate year. I decided to do this for three reasons. One, I was not ready for college and hoped that a post-graduate year would ease me into the whole studying-away-from-home thing, two, I thought that it would be an academic dream come true with small classes and excellent teachers, and three, the whole romantic side of going to a New England prep school really appealed to me. Somewhere in between having a great time with my new found independence, studying subjects that I really love, comparing beach homes with the super rich kids, and wearing formal dress everyday, I thought that a post-grad year would be the best thing to ever happen to me.

So I went to an admissions event, shadowed Pippa for an afternoon, had a good interview, wrote some great essays (I posted one of them here), submitted a writing sample (posted here), and shoved it all into the mail a week before it was due. Even though I felt confident about the application’s content, I knew, I just knew, that I wasn’t going to get in. I may have straight A’s and have been taking AP courses since my sophomore year, but I also have this charming thing called an IEP. And when schools see those three letters and how much school I missed last year, they tend to run for cover. All they’re thinking is giant liability.

I heard back from the school today. I called Pippa at lunchtime to get her to check the mail, and sure enough the letter was there. She opened it and read it aloud to me over the phone while Clara held my hand.

I didn’t get in.

Sure, I was disappointed, but the voice of reason was the prodominate internal voice. This surprised me because instead of giving over to self-defeating thoughts, I was just annoyed, really, really annoyed, because that IEP has to be the reason why they didn’t accept me.

I excused myself from lunch, went to the Child Study Team and did a little crying, but there were no hysterics. Mostly, I’m just concerned about how colleges will respond to my applications next year. Because getting into a good college is a heck of a lot more important than prep school.

In a weird way, I feel liberated. I don’t have anything that I’m required to do for the coming year. I could go work for my cousin’s anti-corruption non-profit or I could spend time focussed on my writing. I could do anything. Anything at all. It’s my choice.

So here’s to success, and here’s to failure.

But most of all, here’s to my totally awesome plan to bring the rejection letter to school, make people write things that they hate on it, and then burn it in the kitchen sink.

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