Two years ago, 2015.

As December 18th crept up on me, I became restless. A senior in high school who would no longer sleep, spending every second thinking about what would happen. Would I get in? What if I get rejected? Where will I end up?

Questions that filled my mind with anxiety and nerves those days leading up to December 18th.

I woke up that day, with a pit in my stomach. How was I supposed to go through my daily schedule knowing that at any time, my life could change drastically. I though my future would be sealed with a simple email with a title either “Congratulations” or “We are sorry to inform you,” how could I not let this control my life.

I walked out of my math class and towards my car, thinking I would get the email about an hour later. As we live in a world today where everything is shared via social media, my heart sank when I saw those words on someone else’s profile, “University of Michigan Class of 2020.”

Fear consumed me as I rushed to my car to get my laptop.

I remember like it was yesterday, shaking while attempting to log in to have my fate sealed. This was the moment I was waiting for. In one simple world, the stress that built up in me exploded with excitement and relief, “Congratulations Halle.”

Now, almost two years later to the date, and I am finishing my first semester of sophomore year. Although only two years, it feels like reading that email was in a different lifetime, that I was a different person. A person who let her dreams overtake her emotions, a person who feared her future, instead of embracing it.

As I write this, I think about the seniors in high school who may be feeling the same way. Up late at night reading about their dream school, calculating their chances of admissions, letting the anxiety of the unknown take over their lives, and happiness.

As easy as it may be for me to say this, now going through it and it ending it my favor, be stronger than a word on the top of a letter. Let the fear of the unknown foster into excitement on what could happen, not what will happen if things don’t happen.

This experience taught me how I don’t want to spend my life; fearing things I can’t control, being anxious for things that won’t make or break me, and letting one thing, decision or person be my end all be all.

As cliché as it sounds, it’s imperative to remember that you are so much more than an acceptance or rejection letter.

As I think back to that senior girl in high school that once was me, I remember how this brutal time in the year made me better, stronger, and happier. I was able to overcome my fears, open that letter that revealed the fate of my future, and go to my dream school where I would meet the best friends I have ever made, and make the greatest memories.

Although things may seem stressful now, remember how fast time flies. Before you know it you will be a second-semester sophomore, home for winter break, remembering the good parts of college acceptance season, and wishing you didn’t let the worry occupy you.

Be thankful for the opportunity that is about to present itself, your future is waiting for you, and it will be worth it.