Rejections/Acceptances: a list


Since my last post,  everything that was actually post-worthy happened. May 1st is tomorrow, and I’ve narrowed down my college decision. I’ll be paying a deposit to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, but due to difficulties in the financial aid (on my side, not theirs!) spect of things, I have not received my financial aid package; the non-refundable payment doesn’t finalize things (so Southern is still looming).

I hoped to introduce Oakwood into the conversation (I need the “vision,” as a friend of mine says. I need to be in a place in which I am finally affirmed that I am just as capable as anyone, and being a successful, “classy” black girl isn’t a rarity), but even though the cost is comparable with Southern, my dad closed that option.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on. Without further ado:


Brandeis University (big ups to the Jewish tradition, which would allow for Sabbath rest, on top of its stellar academics and proximity to Boston)

Hampton University (surprisingly because I thought I never completed my application, decision was promised for 3 weeks post submission, got it a few months later)

Oakwood University

Fordham University (when things started feeling real!)

Milwaukee School of Engineering

Case Western Reserve University

Southen Adventist University

Marquette University

Loyola University Maryland

Macalester College (a personal favorite of mine for everything that isn’t academically-related, EVERYTHING; ask me about it because it’d be a long explanation)

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (huge surprise, especially since last year only 7% of accepted students had GPAs lower than a 4.0, and only 15% of out-of-state students were accepted, not to brag because I actually feel like HOW DID THIS HAPPEN FOR ME)


Washington University in St. Louis

Stanford University 

Harvard University (another one that I never finished the application [missing required standardized test])

Georgetown University (of which I once obsessed with, that I thought I would get accepted,–or even wait listed–of which I thought things were looking up with fewer applicants that year and then what I could bring to the particular school I applied to)


Washington and Lee University (I loved that school. So generous with aid, too)


It’s amazing how things are turning out. I just want to make sure people know what I wish I knew.


She said I’d get in, no questions asked.

We ran into our dear family friend today. She shared her woes and her victories with us, highlighting her son’s recent educational success. My mom and I smiled and said, “Praise God.”

Then my mom told her about my application to Georgetown. “Joelle worked so hard on it, and I know she wants to go there.” 

“You know,” I said, “The more people who know about me applying to Georgetown, the more painful the rejection letter will be.”

Our family friend responded. “You will get in. I know that. And I’m glad your mom told me about your dream because we are family. The Lord put this desire on your heart, and you will get in; do not waver in your faith.”

“I’ll tell my son to pray for you because he is a prayer warrior,” she continued. “Keep praying. But have faith. Believe in this all the way through.”

I thought about her words and I thought about the verse she kind of referenced in James (that I’m about to kind of reference), that a doubter is like a ship with no sail, wavering and drifting. And then I tried to imagine myself praying, “Lord, please give me Georgetown,” but it was impossible because I know how I pray, and I know that my thought process would elicit all thoughts of praying for God’s will as in “Lord, I would like to go to Georgetown, but I won’t pray that because you know what’s best for me and I don’t want to demand anything from you” even though I’m pretty sure that’s not the right way to pray knowing about such people of faith as David and the persistent widow.

My defense mechanism against rejection is to guard my heart. Not allow myself to get attached to what’s attainable (the male species has something to do with this). But I’ve allowed myself to want Georgetown so much that it’s going to hurt when I get that rejection letter, and I’m still not capable of seeing things like our family friend who said that she knows I’ll get accepted into Georgetown.

In the conversation, she did say that God will give me what is best for me. I’m more prone to hold on to that promise, but I definitely think Christians should adopt this kind of faith. It’s biblical. Our God is bigger than our troubles. And He owns it all.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing.


I’ve tried.


I’ve tried to focus on the Echolier, A&P, NHS–anything to distract me from the pending admissions decisions. With approximately 47 days until April 1st, the day on which I will for sure have all my rejection and acceptance letters, I know that allowing myself to be overtaken by the anxiety and curiosity of my final college options will leave me drained, due to my wasted emotions.

However, the very aspects of my life that are prevalent enough to act as distractions actually end up pulling me back to college worries. Will the admissions officers read my Echolier articles? Will I get the A that I need to make the burden of A&P–and the honors diploma—worthwhile? Is NHS even really a credential that helps to distinguish me from every other perfect charitable applicant?

So you see, my admissions decision anxiety is unavoidable.

But I’m not sure if I, along with my friends and family, can take another 47 more days of the unknown, of charting out the possibilities based on unknown possibilities. I’d love to be able to give people an answer when they ask, “Are you going to Southern?” (Notice it’s not “where are you going to college?”)

I’ve been struggling.

Macalester College by Jay Gabler
Macalester College by Jay Gabler

It’s no surprise that my last application to submit has a writing supplement that asks, “What draws you to our school, and what would you contribute to it?”

I promise that the reason why the application hasn’t been turned it yet (yes, I know, I’m way behind all of who sent in all your apps before the new year, but, as the title states, I’ve been STRUGGLING), is because everything I’ve written so far for this supplement doesn’t seem adequate.

A while ago, I wrote a post about why writing supplements that ask, “Why this college?” are the most difficult to compose.

And here I am proving the post right.

The school is Macalester College, one of my absolute favorites. Every time I spend a significant amount of time either reading its viewbook, taking a virtual tour, or going through student reviews on Unigo, it’s an emotional experience. It’s in the trigger phrases–a commitment to multiculturalism, access to caring and knowledgeable professors, connections to internship opportunities–now that I’ve gotten over the initially superficial things that I had originally wanted from my future college, I look for these exact qualities.

And then they have these super cool co-op residence houses! Forget Greek life: There’s one for vegetarians in which meat is banned, many language houses where students live to immerse themselves in their chosen language, and an eco house (the name explains its purpose). It’s small, and it promotes an atmosphere of constant intellectualism. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, graduated from Mac.

Somehow, I’ll have to pull from the substance behind these things; for example, from the co-op residences houses, I can say that I respect Mac’s belief in learning that works on application and assimilation, learning that truly follows a student from the campus to the world.

I think I’m getting the hang of this.

Except for the “why YOU?” part of the question.
Why I am worthy to walk the path that Kofi Annan walked?
I don’t know.

I could say that I am international and special and smart.


I’m struggling.

Why I won’t pierce my ears in college.

When I was in 4th grade, I wanted huge hoop earrings.

When I was in 9th grade, I wanted pearl studs.

Right now, I want cute diamond studs and fashionable dangly earrings; however, my parents are not inclined to giving me the permission to pierce my ears. Even when one of my older sisters got her own ears pierced in her mid-twenties, I sure did not see my mom ignore the fact and refrain from voicing her disapproval.

Right now, my mother’s not sure about the places I am pinning my hopes on,  particularly about the fact that the majority of the schools I have applied to have been non-Adventist schools set in urban locations at least 400 miles away from home. She, rightly so, fears that leaving the security of my town with a lot more freedom than a seventeen-year-old girl can handle all at once will cause me to misuse that freedom, irresponsibly making choices counter to the morals she instilled in me.

I had always planned on piercing my ears once I turned 18, while in college, with no one to stop me from doing so. However, considering how wary my mom is of the campus environments of many of the school I applied to, I have decided against that plan. I need to embark on my college adventure with the awareness that my mother’s trust in me remains precarious;  I cannot afford to plant doubt in her.

Refraining from piercing my ears sounds like a trivial matter,

Witness my photo editing skills.
Witness my photo editing skills.

but I hold in high esteem my relationship with my mother, enough to sacrifice the fashion statement that I have always wished to make.