Can you imagine that somebody born at this very second will go on in 18 years to be accepted to Harvard?
I’ve been feeling really discouraged lately. And regretful. Really really regretful. My thought process pretty much every day is, “How could you have been so stupid [insert freshman/sophomore/junior] year? You had the chance for [insert opportunity here] back then and you didn’t take it.”
And I’ve been doing a lot of wishing for a time machine. I’m only half joking. I want a time machine to take me back to sophomore year. Or better, junior year. Then, with my senior brain, I could do everything the way my senior self now wants my junior self to do a year ago. No opportunities missed. No regret a year later. No beating myself up because I’m the one going to Stanford, not my peer. Congratulations by the way, Nikhil. You deserve it, I’m sure.
I don’t know if I’m downgrading myself, if I’m underestimating myself. I sure hope I am. Feeling the way I do isn’t really pleasant. I get irritated quickly, and I blank out quite a lot.
I’m even blanking out now, forgetting what I wanted to put on here.
Ever since school started this year I’ve been struggling with toxic thoughts about myself. Maybe “toxic” is too strong of a word, but I’ve been doubting myself a lot. Sometimes I’m on a high and I think I’m a strong, smart, capable girl. Other times- most times- well…
I’m not trying to toot my own class’s horn here, nor am I trying to excuse my own shortcomings, but I feel like the class of 2020 has some really strong competitors, driven, bright people. People who make studying and achieving high look easy and effortless. People I wish I were. I know of several who have applied to Ivies, and top colleges like Stanford and Vanderbilt. Myself, the best school I applied to was WashU, right here at home. But even WashU is a stretch for me, and it’s not competition for MIT, like my friend Rachel is applying to. A few of my friends have also applied to WashU, and if they get in and I don’t, well, heartbroken will be the lightest description of how I’d feel.
But I shouldn’t be complaining, should I? They’ve worked hard and I want to think I have to, except I think they’ve worked just a little bit harder.
Am I a disappointment to my family, my friends, myself, if I can’t make it into a top college like so many students across the US do every year? I’m Asian. I’m supposed to be good at this. And yet I know my parents have given up on me, in a sense. They try not to hurt my feelings but sometimes when they talk to my younger brother, they say, “I’m counting on you now to get a 36 on the ACT, okay? You can be the one in our family to go to Harvard!” And that breaks me, little by little. Every time I’m reminded of my own failure to be the perfect student, I want to cry, I want to scream at my younger self to be more driven and focused on my studies and not to be so stupid and lax until it was too late. Even now, I sound like an ungrateful little whiner writing about how pitiful she feels.
I’ve lost my chance. How’s that feel, huh?