Dear Jaya,

You created your Common Application account. Summer is about to be over, and you already added colleges into your dashboard. You're trying to fill out as much general information as you can if it will save you time. You're quite nervous, but you aren't ready to admit that yet. At this point, you really want to go to Davidson College. It's your dream school. You're applying Early Decision, and you think you'll get in, but you also don't want to get your hopes up. All you know is that you would give anything to go to Davidson.

You don't get in.

After getting rejected in early December, you're not hopeful about the other seven colleges you have to hear back from. You're starting to get nervous. You don't think you're going to be successful in life. You don't tell your parents how upset you are because you don't want to worry them. You're bad at keeping in touch with certain friends because you're not prioritizing yourself, or how genuinely upset you are.

The months go by. You get into a few more colleges, but you also get rejected. Are you as sad? No, but you still feel empty. Towards the end of April, you have to make a decision. Your parents suggest Elon University, but you have practically no reaction. You would sit in your room night after night, wondering why you were sad. Choosing what college you want to go to is supposed to be exciting. You wanted to know why you weren't excited. It didn't feel fair. I remember it all too well.

Well, you ended up choosing Elon University. I know you weren't happy about it initially, but let me tell you something. You're going to meet some incredible people who will change your life. You're going to take certain classes and be shocked when you realize that you actually like them. You will become an amazing student, the best you've ever been (and you're only getting better). You'll learn things about yourself that you never knew where there. You're going to make mistakes, but you're also going to realize your full worth and potential. You're also more confident now too. What you thought was a bad mistake, is now a significant reason why you're happier than you've ever been.

We took a risk, gave Elon a chance, and it is one of the best decisions we've ever made.

"You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen." - Paulo Coelho