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An Old Dominion's Mistake

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“You made a terrible mistake.” I am sure that hundreds of students and parents have spoken these sentiments to the admission department at Old Dominion in the course of the past few weeks. I am sure that thousands more throughout the state, have laughed, cried, and yelled these words, being sure to diminish your institution with each remark. Personally, I hold Old Dominion in the highest regards as far as colleges go; having been a lifelong Virginia resident, I have come to cherish the diverse atmosphere and thirst for knowledge in ODU and the surrounding area entropy. It is in this high-esteem for the university and the community that I write this candid letter.

Truthfully, I do not feel that Old Dominion has necessarily made a mistake in its selection, for how can a school sift through the numerous competitive individuals and select a class meager in proportion to the number of students who wish they could attend. Yes, I write this letter as an appeal for my admissions decision for the Fall of 2015, but more so than that, I feel the need to give a dream school of mine at least one more shot. Regardless of the consequent decision, which I fully realize is statistically to be against my desired response, I must write this letter.

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I realized during the time of the application process my SAT score wasn’t quite up to par with the University’s minimum, but I still took a chance. I entered the mighty Albemarle High school June 7th, 2014, to take the SAT for the very first time. Nervous, uneasy, and utterly a mess. During middle school, my pre-algebra teacher noticed that on test day I would sweat profusely, tremble, and request the bathroom pass a lot more than normal. Mrs. Burrows found this to be quite disturbing, thus, she relayed this information to my mother. Once my mother found out, one week later, I found myself sitting in a private clinic on a hard black table being diagnosed with ‘anticipatory anxiety.’ Only being twelve years old, I barely acknowledged that It was a major problem – “It’s common during hard tasks,” my doctor said. “You’ll be fine, Anxiety induces uncertainty and a sense of lack, even failure, regardless of how competent you really are.” After I started having harder tests, I knew I had a long road ahead of me.

Being a first generation college student, I didn’t have parents that knew the rigor and the competitiveness needed for an impressive college application, nor did I have a competitive sibling therefore putting me at a disadvantage for AP recommendations. I’m truly hoping that the office of admissions will see the upward trend of not merely my SAT scores (170 points higher), but my overall character. My mother always just said, “do your best and forget the rest.” That wasn’t enough, I wish I was pushed harder, forced to do my homework when I didn’t know any better. I was forced to learn the hard way that In order to succeed, you have to be not just average, but exceptional. I don’t have a 4.0, and wasn’t class president, but I am a firm believer. I am not a perfect student, and didn’t display much effort during my freshman/sophmore year, but given the opportunity I can and will prove myself to the University. I realize how impressionable young minds are, and the importance of positive role-models. Thus, I have focused more of my energies into sharing personal ideologies as well as high school experiences with the lower classmen. Currently I am organizing a Drug-Awareness assembly to take place prior to finals week. The assembly is specifically designed to inform the freshmen of various substance abuse and health problems they may encounter in their next few years in high school, and the consequent malignant effects each substance/disorder can have on an individual’s life.

Wherever I go, I am positive I will earn an outstanding education. Further, I feel confident that my desire to succeed and do the best I possibly can will further guarantee a positive college experience. Since submitting my college applications in January, I have gained a better understanding of myself, and a better understanding of the surrounding world. I’ve decided upon myself that I want to become a physician, I am aware that I will not be able to heal every person who saunters through the sliding doors — but I will cure and mend at every given chance. I am and always will be the optimist; the hoper of far-flung hopes, and the dreamer of improbable dreams.

As I dream of one day possibly becoming a cardiologist, a dream I plan to make a reality through hard work and determination, Old Dominion would provide me with the dynamic atmosphere of medical discussion, the kind I relished in at the HMSA convention and continue to love. Through the relationships and subsequent dialogue I would have with peoples of different nationalities and beliefs at Old Dominion, I would be better equipped to make my own decisions in life by way of the additional knowledge gained from such a “melting pot” of people. Needless to say, my goal of becoming a successful public servant continues despite being denied acceptance (currently I am reading Leadership by Rudy Giuliani, an inspirational and informative book which discusses how important it is to work hard for what you believe in). Though, with this in mind, I feel I could make great strides in the right direction by attending Old Dominion.

As I go from one activity to another, from my job where I’m expected to lead as head hostess to HOSA club as president (despite being medically inept, I have spent numerous hours studying random diseases throughout my entire life, and plan to be the next best Dr. Oz anyone has ever seen!), the disappointment and anxiety I feel at my denial to Old Dominion continues. I realize that, like thousands of the other students who may be bewildered at an admission decision, I am simply used to trying my best and yielding the fruits of my labor. Life is full of ups and downs, successes and failures — even at the green age of 18 I understand this concept well, and realize I will experience my share of both in life. I realize this is not a failure. All the events and activities I have participated in have been due to sheer love and enjoyment, and my knowledge gained from such experiences will aid me always, whether I attend Stanford U or Clown College.

My anticipatory anxiety has improved tremendously, the night before to taking a test, my doctor gave me four tips, and they all have to do with powering down a few hours before bed. Turn off the news, and the internet, and the phone, and don’t eat big meals – which just so happen to be my four favorite activities before bed. However, these four tips have without question done miracles.

Old Dominion would be the perfect choice of school in relation to both aspects: its proximity to my hometown of Charlottesville, as well as the educational opportunities. I truly believe that God has His plan, and that everything works out for the best. All I feel I can do is submit this letter and let fate have its way.


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