It may seem implausible to perceive such a milestone from a perspective of uncertainty and pride. However, these last few months have been a tumultuous roller coaster ride of mixed emotions that I have shared with my family and friends.
Was it knowing that communication would be through handwritten letters which were not necessarily guaranteed for the next eight weeks that caused these feelings? Or was it not knowing how he was assimilating to an environment which fosters immediate brotherhood and patriotism over everything else? And in knowing this, how would he change as a person who hasn't yet had the opportunity to vote in a primary election?
All these questions have been brewing since his decision to accept his appointment to the United States Air Force Academy as a cadet.
How was it that overnight, my brother who was previously accepted into the business schools at Boston College, University of Southern California, and the University of Miami, finalized his paperwork for the Air Force Academy, and flew out to Colorado Springs to confirm his future?
Moreover, while this was happening I was in the midst of my final semester of college and was physically, mentally, and too emotionally encumbered by my final exams, papers, and lab reports, to fully understand how his life and my family's life would be affected.
Thus, I was at first scared, confused, and a little alarmed. He had previously never spoken of his aspirations to fly planes or international relations. So how can I be blamed for feeling shocked and completely mystified?
However, within 10 minutes of rereading and analyzing his text on April 7th, 2018 saying, "I have officially committed to the Air Force Academy," I knew despite his extensive list of college offers, that he had chosen the one option that would be the most fulfilling.
As a sister who has grown up with my baby brother attached to the hip from the day he was born, I knew that it wasn't about what my mom, dad, or myself wanted for him. It was about what he wanted. And over these past few weeks of living across the country from him, as he is woken up at 4:30 a.m. six days a week and training to become a future leader of our country, I fully support his unconventional college option.
The amount of mental strength it must take to choose the unbeaten path deserves to be honored.