There has been a “fear and trembling” feeling that has been lingering over our heads this past year. It has permeated our souls, infiltrated a great deal of our thoughts and conversations, and otherwise made life miserable.
I am talking about the wait to receive the almighty gift from God, a college acceptance letter.
Who would have imagined the anxiety and nervousness that has permeated this household for over a year, as my daughter began to collate, discriminate and otherwise choose what her final choices would be for college admissions.
There were meetings with college advisors, parents of other students, parents of close friends, interviews, lectures, books, college visits and tours, SAT tutorials and testing, advanced placement testing, essay writing, editing, rewriting, and ultimately submission decisions. I am exhausted just thinking about it. All of this lay on the delicate shoulders of my 18-year-old daughter, Savannah. No matter how much my wife and I participated, and my wife was there at every twist and turn, most of the burden lay directly with Savannah.
In the very early Fall, Savannah made the very bright decision to apply to her favorite and first choice school for early action. This meant that from this school we would hear by the early winter. For the other schools that she was interested in, we would have to wait until April.
Some very evil, slightly twisted, masochistic people must have created this process of acceptance and rejection. It must have been their intention to create total havoc and foster nervous breakdowns on many of the aspiring students and their families. For at exactly 4 pm on the day of reckoning, a small ding alerted us to an incoming email. Throughout the world, thousands of acceptances and rejections were being emailed all at once. There were cries of rejection heard throughout the homes across America, mingled with a few bursts of jubilation in the others. Best friends were separated by denial and acceptance, enemies were reunited, people who were over-qualified rejected, and some amazing misfits accepted. All of this drama and one’s future played out in a simple email.
So on this particular day at precisely 4 pm, Savannah and I opened her email. All it took was the first word to know all we needed to know, Congratulations. She had been accepted. We yelled and screamed with delight. She had made it. All the years and years of hard work and diligence had paid off. She was accepted to the University of Chicago, known throughout serious academic circles as a school where “fun goes to die.” She is ready and very happy and we are all so proud. For now schooling truly begins, where the world is laid bare and everything is open to you. Chicago get ready, my daughter is coming.
P.S. By the way, two other schools she applied to, both my alma maters, she did not get into, despite the fact that at one of the schools she was a double legacy and way beyond qualified.
Needless to say I am in the midst of writing the most heinous and angry letter to both of them. My letter will be like the “Purloined Letter” filled with distaste, scorn and revenge. No way will either of these schools get my twenty-five dollar a year donation. On this spring day my daughter got into the school of her first choice. I am so happy and proud to be her father.