The Day I Got Deferred


Jamie Spelling

It is said that the college acceptance letter is the mark of all accomplishments. So, does that default the deferment or denial letter to a mark of failure? My initial reaction: no. I said, “I know who I am. I know what I have accomplished. Most importantly, I know what I deserve.” I know I am fine. Yet, I sit here with one unrelenting question. Why?

I’ve been told I’m the definition of a shoe-in for the college admissions process. They said I would get in anywhere. They even told me I’m not shooting high enough. They told me it’s impossible to see my resume, my grades and my essays and not admit me. “They” is everyone… “They” is society.

I have prided myself on the fact that I defy all that society defines as a typical teenager. So, I guess you could say that I have defied society once again… But I’m not as proud to admit it this time.

I keep going back to the unanswered “why.” I imagine a little room with a rectangular table. There are a couple of admissions counselors with their hands folded, resting on it. I imagine them evaluating my application, reading my essays, judging my character. Then there’s a lapse in my vision. The story goes black as my application is picked up. Something is said in that little room with a rectangular table. But I don’t know what it is. The story only reappears as my application is being placed in the pile to the left—the pile for the deferred.

When an answer is not provided, it is human nature to attempt to find the answer yourself. This is a dangerous practice with the college admissions process because, for the lack of a better (or truer) term, it is an absolute crapshoot. You can have a 4.8 GPA. You can save a life. For all they care, you can be superman. But one thing you can never be is certain. The college admissions process is an absolute crapshoot.

Please know it is okay when your initial confident reaction begins to falter. It is okay to question your self-worth after a deferral or denial. College admissions decisions do not define us. They simply possess us. It is to this possession that I owe the following thoughts: Why not me? Why them? Will other colleges see the same flaw this one did? What is this flaw? Is it my grades? Is it my writing? Is it… me? What if it is just me? What if I can’t fix it? I may be possessed, but these questions are totally sane. It is okay to ask yourself these questions, too. But do not allow the college admissions process to answer them for you.

I know who I am. I know what I have accomplished. Most importantly, I know what I deserve. I know I am fine. I know we will all be fine.