Recount of a Tempestuous Weekend

“塞翁失马焉知非福” – 《淮南子·人间训》 An old Chinese proverb

Hello fellow readers. It’s been quite a while since my last post. I shall not bore you with the myriad reasons behind my absence, though truthfully I don’t really have a cohesive answer either. I suppose one can attribute it to a combination of my perpetual state of busyness and the waning of my summer dreams, which have since entered dormancy following the winter blizzard.

You may remember my ✨Self Improvement✨ challenge from the start of the school year. It was one of the most unforgettable and arguably wisest experiences I’ve had. Enchanted by summer’s inexhaustible energy, I was basically soaring through the sky setting new highs every day. I honestly cannot recall one single moment of significant setback during that time. Everything was immaculate. However, the energy inevitably waned and now I am amidst the coldest time of the year, with a snowstorm ❄️, both metaphorically and literally, outside my house. I realize after writing that sentence that I have once again fallen into the old habit of overdramatizing. It’s not actually “bad” per se, just more realistic and filled with adversities that are characteristic of life. And in all honesty, I’ve been fortunate enough to push through most of these challenges anyway. I suppose it’s just a pretty stark juxtaposition between dancing through life before and delicately balancing the multitude of pressure now.

Anywho, I will stop boring you with all the preludes and dive into this weekend I refer to as “tempestuous” ⛈️. It was a rollercoaster that made me only crave more to just peacefully lie dormant and not go through any more storms. So for context, I applied to the MIT PRIMES CS program this year, for which I’ve invested wayyyyy too much time solving the application’s problem set. The application was submitted in November, but then 2 weeks ago, right before the 3 days Martin Luther King weekend, I heard people saying that the PRIMES results were coming out. I honestly did not know what to expect. From just the application itself, I felt that I was qualified and solved the problem set meticulously enough to earn a spot. However, there was an incessant feeling of unease that I could not quite shake off. It was not completely unbased either – for reasons I never quite figure out, my reapplication last year was rejected, even though I was accepted in 9th grade. And on the alumni page, I couldn’t find a single person who did PRIMES in two non-consecutive years 💀. Thus when I found out more and more people had already gotten their acceptance letter, and my inbox was still empty, my heart effectively stopped beating. Literally, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, days when I should have been enjoying the long weekend, I was instead scrolling my email inbox for updates every 5 minutes. And nope, not a single email from PRIMES 😔. By Saturday, I had already accepted that I did not get in. I even wrote a “lovely” paragraph in my journal 🤡.

I will refrain from sharing the rest of the journal entry cause they're kinda 🤡

Friday passed – No email. Two other people I know who applied got in.
Saturday passed – No email. Another person on the forum says they got in.
Sunday passed – No email. I was informed that most if not all CS acceptances have been sent out, and the remaining letters are all rejection.
Monday passed – No email.

Tuesday: It was 2:11PM and I had just woken up from my sleep as Chemistry class was ending. Habitually, I checked my phone – AND OMG WAIT WHAT IS THAT EMAIL WITH PRIMES IN THE TITLE ❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗ ❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗

🤡 Turned out I somehow got switched to the computational biology section instead of the pure CS section I originally expected. Thus my letter came much later than others. It was a unexpected but most welcomed surprise.

As you probably guessed, my entire day, and the many weeks after it, were all filled with glee and uncontainable ecstasy. And yep, that was my tempestuous weekend. Looking back to my journal, I feel rather silly in feeling so despondent so quickly. But I guess it really does affirm the saying, even though it might be the corniest thing in the world: ✨DONT GIVE UP!✨because everything really is possible, even when it doesn’t seem that way.

And that’s it. Thanks for reading! Hope you found this post useful or relatable in any way. Feel free to drop a comment on your thoughts :p.