Decisions, decisions

I was watching a basketball game that I didn’t care about, checking my email to occupy my mind with something other than the mindless dribbling on the TV, when I saw something that had the potential to change the rest of my life. Let me give some context. I was in love with Carleton College . I applied early decision, doing everything they recommended for their strongest applicants and working tirelessly on my application, only to receive a letter saying they had deferred their decision. They would decide on my admission with the regular decision pool of applicants. I wouldn’t find out for months whether I had gotten in, and this meant that I had to continue my stressful college search. I cried harder than I have ever cried in my life. The idea that I might not attend the place I had my heart set on, and was so sure I would get into, broke my heart. I couldn’t keep up the search. My parents chose six colleges (one of which I later tossed out of the running) for me to apply to. I somehow managed to write more essays, do more research, and finally finish those strenuous applications. I was lucky in that I had another college I was interested in; not all hope was lost. It was far-fetched, outrageously expensive, but it was, somewhere in my heart of hearts, maybe just what I was looking for: New York University . So I had all of my applications sent in, including my NYU one, and the waiting began. One by one, the letters trickled in. Accepted, waitlisted, accepted…rejected. The Carleton letter had come. This was what I was expecting; I just wasn’t good enough. More letters came; another rejection that I wasn’t too heartbroken over. Then I opened that fateful email as I sat on that couch watching that basketball game. I called my mom, forwarded her the email, and hurried home. It was the late evening and I sat with my parents and our dog on their bed as we tensely checked our financial aid offer – which we weren’t too hopeful about. To our pleasant surprise, I had qualified for a $25,000 scholarship, along with a few loans. My dad did the math; NYU is well-within the feasible financial range for me to attend. The thing is that I have one other school that I am seriously considering. It’s more modestly priced, located in Wisconsin, and offering me another scholarship. No matter what decision I make, I’ll be making a mistake. It would be stupid to give up the chance to live in New York City. But I know I can’t go to New York City without totally immersing myself; there would be no point. Go big or go home. So it would also be stupid to go to New York and give up all the relationships, friendships, and connections I could make or maintain if I stay closer to home in Wisconsin. I know this is something that a lot of high school students have to go through. This is the hardest decision that I have ever had to make, and it’s probably one of the hardest decisions I will ever make. The rest of my life hangs in the balance. I have yet to decide.