When I was looking through old emails for my Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen fan site, I stumbled upon something I wrote in 2003. I was emo at the time to say the least, and suicidal if we prefer a more blunt approach. Here is the un-edited version of my thoughts on a lonely night in January, eleven years ago. It is complete with spelling errors for your amusement (WARNING: you will need the laugh).
I’m so scared right now. i am shaking. I am grasping for air. i dont want to die. but sometimes i think i do, and i am scared that if i think i do, i might try, when deep down i really dont want to. what happens when i do try, and then i change my mind? what happens when my mind desides to change, when it is already to late? is 10:58 right now, but what if i dont live till tomarrow? what if my mind desides to over come what i really feel deep down? what if i go down to the kitchen and get the knife? my life could end in an instant.. but yet i know i dont want it too. i think, how could i be so selfish, to want to take my own life? when all day i try to stop other people from making the same mistake. Then i start to think about what happens after. Who crys? who forgets me? Who moves on? Who doesnt? Whats wrong with being different? we go through life with people teaching us we can be who ever we want, when really we have to be who everyone else wants us to be.
Besides the obvious desire to give my middle-school self some screen time, I’ve posted this for a reason. I’ve posted it because it is important to know and understand where we all come from. Earlier this week I was accepted to Yale with nearly a full scholarship. I wonder what that girl, the one who was so, so sad, would say about who I am today.
I find this thought comforting for a few reasons. First, it reminds me that nothing is forever; everything changes. It means I can’t get too held up in the moment because soon it will be over and I’ll have moved on. Second, it’s okay that sometimes I’m a sad-cat, and even that I used to be an extremely sad-cat. I’m still super strong and can accomplish a lot. Or so Yale thinks ;) Lastly, it means it gets better. Highs and lows evolve. This week I’m stressed out about all the other decisions coming in… but this time next year I’ll be somewhere else… and that somewhere is still a mystery. My “low” today is a hellofa lot better than it was then, for which I am thankful :)
So last week I heard back from Stanford and it was a rejection notice. I’m obviously disappointed, but also acknowledge that this whole b-school this will work out as it shall. I gave a lot of consideration to the schools I was applying to and would be happy at any one of them. One rejection does not mean defeat.
The next 20 days are going to be trying though. I’m going to keep myself busy as much as possible so that I don’t sit and think endlessly about all the decisions that will be rolling in. By December 20th, I’ll hear back from 5 more schools. Leaving only 2 still up in the air. Pins and needles folks, pins and needles.
The other weekend I spoke at a conference. It was actually a code camp, which is basically a tech conference. It was the first time I had actually submitted a talk for something like this. The other cases where I’ve spoken have been on panels where others reached out or by random happenstances. The coordinator for this conference though contacted me after us meeting at That Conference.
I usually get pretty nervous when speaking in front of others… Even though I understand the importance of public speaking, it still terrifies me. My face and ears get beet red, my mouth gets dry, and I have a tendency to rush through my speaking points. So, I’ve been signing up for more and more talks like these in an effort to combat this fear. If I want to be any kind of leader in the future I need to learn to speak in front of others…
My talk was about Google Glass. I didn’t put a crap-ton into this presentation beforehand because I had already given the same presentation 3-4 times and was pretty comfortable with how it would go. I don’t like to over-practice things because then I can come across as too rehearsed. Rather, I like to just have a really good understanding of what I’m speaking about.
Let’s just say, this talk went hella-well. I didn’t feel nervous at all going into it. I knew I knew my content and I was excited to teach others about the functionality. I went into the day with a nice bowl of cereal (Lucky Charms!!) and then red bull and coffee too – so I was just a bit hopped up. My session was just after lunch too, so I went up with a full stomach rather than starving my nerves like I’ve done in the past.
When I did the evening presentationof Google Glass for Girls in Tech, I had a beer beforehand which I thought loosened me up and enabled the good presentation. With this one, I obviously didn’t and it was still just as good if not better. The feedback I got was encouraging too. Most liked the humor I brought to the presentation and my overall ability to engage. One person even suggested I consider stand up comedy. It’s really remarkable to put a lot of effort into something and then see my efforts pay off…
Having nothing to do with Grease, I awkwardly ran into someone I went to high school with at Caribou Coffee today.
Let me be clear, it was only awkward because I was there.
I kind of thought it was her, but I wasn’t entirely sure… so I did that whole, try to look from the side and get caught looking and quickly look away thing that is oh-so-awkward. This lasted for at least three minutes while her drink was being made, and when they called her name, I had all the confirmation I needed.
Maybe I would have said “hi” had I not been in my winter boots with a backpack on while on my way home. But then probably not, because I’m not the fondest of my high school years. It reminded me a lot of cliques and labels and the groups people tend to put others (and themselves) into, consciously or not.
In school, I tried hard to fall into the nerdy category. I didn’t have the highest self esteem regarding my looks and liked to think that at least I had my smarts to fall back on. I dreamt of things like being asked to the prom and what not, but seeing as I didn’t brush my hair before class, that didn’t happen. Today I’m confident and I love meeting new people… why don’t I want to go back and meet someone I knew before?
Next year Halloween will fall on the weekend. Driving home from celebrating a friends birthday this evening, I almost regretted not being Kara Thrace for Halloween this year. Then I realized I now have an entire year to buff up like her for next year. Additionally, I concluded there is no sounder way to determine which school I will attend than by identifying which will appreciate a Kara Thrace costume the most. If you can’t base big life decisions off of Battlestar Galactica, what can you?
I’m out of my funk from last week. Other people on the internets (so it must be true) have called similar reactions to application season PTSD… maybe that’s what it was. Either way, with two schools inviting me to interview last week, I’m feeling better. It shows me that I’m at least a competitive candidate and gives me an opportunity to woo them. I’m a good wooer.
This upcoming week I have a Skype interview with Georgetown. I would have preferred to do it in person, but they only have one day available for on-site interviews and it was a Saturday. Spending time in class and seeing the campus during the week is important, so if I can’t do that, I might as well just Skype it. Plus, I’ll go über-broke flying everywhere if all 8 schools come calling…
After the first interview request, I did something terrible and discovered Beat The GMAT, which is a website where people post if they’ve been invited to interview yet. It kind of allows me to go crazy as if I didn’t have that ability already. I learned though, that MIT was beginning to send out their interview requests the following day (Friday). I hate knowing stuff like this because then I can get my hopes up and down and all around within the normal response period. In reality though, I shouldn’t be worried until I don’t hear back at all.
Anyway, I got an email Friday morning from MIT and nearly had a heart-attack. Except it was just a newsletter mentioning things going on around campus and was in no way an invite to interview. Then they emailed me later in the morning and I was like “god dammit MIT quit emailing me heart-attacks” except this time it actually was an invite to interview so the excitement was warranted.
I signed up for a good time and will be able to do a class visit and information session. It will be an awesome little trip. I also reached out to all the current MIT MBA students who are also Macalester grads – I’ll be meeting up with them when I am out there to gain insight into their experiences.
Now it’s time to practice like crazy for my interviews and remember that I don’t suck. I also need to stop analyzing the admissions process because now I think every school sends invitations out alphabetically so when Stanford starts on Monday I’ll get my invite then too… but I could totally be jumping to conclusions and getting me hopes up for naught.
A week ago yesterday I submitted the last of my business school applications. I applied to eight which both gives me the best chances of benefiting from the Consortium and still time to apply round 2 or 3 if needed. It’s actually really good that I made it through them all before this feeling captured me though. I thought that after all the applications were in I would just be able to sit back, forget the process was happening, and magically get accepted to schools come December.
But, it’s not like that at all. Every day I think about how foolish I’ve been to think I’m good enough to get into the schools I want to; that I’m psyching myself out by thinking I can live up to the reputation I’ve imagined for myself. I understand the statistics, and therefore my chances. I recognize what a difficult year it could be for business school applicants. I accept that maybe I’m too young to be taken seriously but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m really just failing at life in every way.
Last week though, I was feeling a lot better. After literally months of preparing and writing essays and rewriting essays and stressing out, I was happy with the way I presented myself. I was confident in my ability to tell my story and that my story was a compelling one to tell. I’ve worked hard but also had really good opportunities offered to me that I’ve taken advantage of. I do all the things people say you’re supposed to do, so maybe I’m at least on par with my competition. Except it doesn’t feel that way now. It feels like a joke. Hopefully this is just the normal post-submission-blues and I’m not really letting down every single person in my life.
Stanford is due tomorrow which means I’m pretty much freaking out and nearly hyperventilating. I needed to take a little cry break on Joe’s shoulder even. Crying is fine, because I haven’t cried in a while. It wasn’t even a good cry though, just a little mopeyness.
I didn’t know what this one would feel like, but it is really nerve wracking. Last week when I submitted MIT, I wasn’t stressed. I put my best foot forward and am happy with how it turned out. But with Stanford, I want to have it just perfect which is impossible because I don’t know what perfection is even if it exists. I’ve just got to put all I can into it and hope for the best, but it also feels like I should be able to do more. It’s an overwhelming feeling of just not being good enough, which is lame.
I briefly considered listing one of my old Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen fan site awards on the “Awards and Honors” section, because I really don’t have anything else. And, while I am legitimately proud of them because I was young and taught myself how to code HTML, I don’t want them to think I’m making light of the application. It’s also kind of pathetic if my only award is from 2001 so I left it off.
I’m going to go to sleep, get a great night of rest, and wake up early tomorrow to put together all the final touches. My essays are done (except one for a fellowship), 90% of the application itself is done, I just need to read through everything 10 more times probably. But, mmmrrrahhhhhhhhh
I’m in Berkeley. I’m here visiting the business school. Mainly because Chris Kluwe lives nearby and I miss having him close, but also because it’s a pretty good program. Or so I’ve heard. I’ve never experienced it. I’m not a good reference.
I submitted my MIT application on Monday. It was the earliest deadline and a good starter. The application was average in terms of essays/prompts, amount of information, etc. I haven’t visited yet, but really like a lot about what the program has to offer. I also think the location would be great. One down… 7 to go?
Next Wednesday is the infamous Stanford deadline. I went and tried to psych myself out today by looking at application stats and stuff. Only 7k people apply for the less than 400 spots, so, it’s not like it’s impossible… My essays are in “okay” shape. Questions like “what is your favorite place” and “what is your favorite thing to read” give me not only the opportunity to let my personality shine but also make an ass out of myself in less than 300 characters. If I had to guess, I’d say 23% of applicants get an interview. If I’m not in that bunch, I’ll be a sad cat who failed. If I’m in that bunch but then don’t get in, that’s okay. At least I tried.
I’ve also been maybe over-doing it lately. Work has been pretty busy, Girls in Tech stuff is in full force, and I’ve been getting up every morning at 5am to work on my essays. Yesterday I just wanted to come home and sleep but I had already volunteered to help out Tix for Tots at the Lynx Game, they kicked ass, by the way. And now today I whisked off to Berkeley, delayed flight and all.
I’m just going to be so relieved when it is all done and I can impatiently wait for months on end.
It happens in every relationship. Things are going so smoothly and you think nothing will get in the way. And then something happens and it is just so crushing… you start to second guess everything, wonder if this is it, the straw the breaks the camel’s back and everything is over.
Joe and I had one of these events today. We were shopping at Ikea for shelves for pictures. I found a cute idea on pinterest of just having a few of shelves so you aren’t putting tons of holes in the walls. We found just what we were looking for which was lucky.
We also found some things we weren’t looking for though… like, a painting. It was pretty cheap, $129 for a fairly large canvas picture. We started seriously talking about it, and he was a tad weary about buying art at this point in our lives. I then remembered the other super awesome idea I had about getting a picture of me on a couch printed, to put above the couch. Get it? It’s ironic.
I said we could skip the canvas art because that’s where I wanted my portrait to go. He looked at me like I just said the craziest thing he ever heard. I was pretty serious in my statement, so obviously I was taken aback by his hesitation. Long and short of it is, Joe thinks that is incredibly vain to have a larger than life picture of yourself hanging in your living room. He thinks people will think poorly of me. He then brought up Alex Rodriguez, who apparently has paintings of himself. I’m definitely not suggesting anyone actually paint it, let alone put half my body on a horse.
Anyway, we decided that I’m not there yet, and got the one from Ikea.
It’s a little expensive to get a mega picture of yourself on a canvas and what if I make the wrong decision on which picture? Joe is also putting his foot down on it being in a main room, which is where he and I just don’t see eye to eye. I agreed to get others’ opinions on it… so, what do you guys think? Would this be awesome or vain above the couch? I think it fits my personality of confidence…