One year ago, I had written a single, measly introduction paragraph for my application essay to the Johns Hopkins University. Like many high school seniors plagued with the highly contagious “senioritis”, nearing the last mile of the college application submission marathon and headed into winter break, I debated whether or not I should even waste effort applying to Hopkins. I mean I wasn’t even going to get in anyway – I had just been deferred from my “dream school”.

I vividly remember being at a math league meet (yay math) when the clock struck the hour and I knew that admissions decisions were up. I decided to wait until I got home; my friend had opened up his decision for his “dream school” only an hour before and had been placed in the hanging limbo. Deferred.

So after the meet, the bus pulled back into my high school’s parking lot, I almost slipped on some ice sprinted gracefully to my mini-van (I know, don’t laugh) and sped drove the speed limit all the way home. I ran into my house, found the nearest computer, typed in my login information with shaky fingers and paused to breathe before I hit enter.

Within less than a second, I had learned that I was also placed into this purgatory of college admissions.

Being deferred is kind of tough. It’s like, “Okay, you don’t want me now, but you might want me later?” Now what? I actually have to do other college applications… It was time to buckle down, but I mean, apply to Johns Hopkins? That’s basically like ASKING to top off my deferral with a nice, healthy serving of rejection. I couldn’t get into my “dream school”, how would I get into Hopkins?

Today, as I look back at the revision history on Google Docs for the file entitled “Why Hopkins?” and dated December 18, 2013, I can’t exactly tell you what gave me enough common sense to finish my essay, look over my application fifty times and hit the submit button. But I am so glad it did. I was eventually rejected from my “dream school”, but soon after, accepted to Hopkins! I decided to swing on down to Baltimore for SOHOP, and just a little later, I accepted my spot in the class of 2018 at the Johns Hopkins University!

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So this is a message to all the college applicants. The ones who are fearful, tired, worried, frustrated, perhaps a little lazy. Apply. Who knows? We might see you here on campus in the fall of 2015. I personally could not even picture being a student here, but I am living proof that you just never know. If you need motivation, this is it.

This is a message to all the deferred and rejected. It’s okay. I know how it feels. You will find your place at whatever institution you decide to attend. I sure did. If I had not, I wouldn’t be blogging right now.

And this is a message to the accepted students. The early decision-ers of the class of 2019. Congratulations! I sure am excited that you are excited to be here, and I love being a “(current student)”, answering your questions.



  1. Your dream school might not actually be your dream school.
  2. Always, always, apply.
  3. Life does not end at your bachelor’s degree.
  4. Congratulations to the Hopkins ED Class of 2019!