**eastward movement is included


eastern assimilation?

This email arrived, and I immediately became paralyzed by a tidal wave of fear, anxiety and excitement. That morning, the message thread on archinect for 2010 applicants was lit up with one 'GSAPP rejection' post after the other. Needless to say, the last thing I wanted to see this morning was an email from the Columbia admissions department.

Much to my parents' disappointment, I've said before that past acceptances and graduations seemed underwhelming, if not completely routine. I sincerely believed that nothing remarkable had occurred, and my stubbornness was absent any calculation. What's more, I was steadfast in my conviction that I was not diminishing this moment because there was nothing to diminish.

Absent from these experiences was a particular feeling of emotion - a sensation that I had truly earned something. A probable explanation would be that I had not invested much to begin with, but when I reflect upon the effort and struggle that took place over the course of both high school and college, this certainly is not true. The difference, however, took place at the arrival at these respective places. In other words, entering these respective institutions seemed like a formality.

The long-awaited acceptance to a graduate school has now changed that. It's quite an experience, too. I mentioned to Laura the other night - the night before I received the email with the good news, actually - that I thought it was interesting how this process is a reliable catalyst for irrational self-doubt. The irony is that the impetus for applying to graduate school is that you are certain your capabilities, but as the process moves along and the waiting begins, you slowly convince yourself that you were wrong about everything. You go back and critique your portfolio and personal statement and all you see is flaws, mistakes, and certain failure. Your path to this point, rooted in ambition and hope, now seems reckless and foolish. But why, exactly? This isn't exactly a life or death scenario.

More than anything, this internal rollercoaster illustrates how much emotion is truly invested in the process. This obviously makes the outcome all the more satisfying, and in hindsight is easy to rationalize. Above all, the lesson I have learned is that absent any positive encouragement and approval from the outside, it's alarming how easy it is to forget about the things you do well. Thank you, Columbia admissions and faculty for reminding me that hard work is occasionally recognized and valued.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

i told you someone would want you.

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New York, New York, United States
I take myself too seriously most of the time and I am trying to do that less. I remind some people of Woody Allen. I occationally indulge in the weekend camping trip. I adamantly support the Kansas City Royals baseball club. My identity is wrapped up in a few simple things, most of which are continuously displayed on this here blog.

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