I didn’t want the words “community college” associated with my name

because I thought that my dignity would shatter

if somebody heard the truth.

The girl who fervently checked her answers to the 3rd grade math benchmark six times so that she could make sure that she got every question right and thus gain the opportunity to be chosen for the GATE program.

The only girl out of all of the test takers for the GATE admission exam, a seemingly meaningless collection of squares and triangles and die with patterns in black and white. She had to rethink the puzzles on her own as all of the boys in the room ran off to play kickball during recess while she shuffled back to the tables where the rest of the girls chatted away.

The girl who had to interpret a Rorschach test ten years before she even learned about the concept itself in psychology.

The girl who was the only individual in the class of over sixty students who had demonstrated a proper violin hold and had taken the initiative to start playing with the bow at the age of nine.

The girl who was kicked out of an advanced swimming class before lessons even started just because the instructor, the toughest coach of the local swim team, thought she wasn’t up to par; she eventually proved him wrong by out-swimming the entire intermediate class by over a pool length, with seconds to spare.

(Fast forward a few weeks) the girl with little to none competitive racing experience who was assigned to swim against the same coach in a relay race.

The girl who lost a council election in 8th grade only to campaign and win the same council position soon after she started high school.

The freshman who was chosen to be a coordinator of a competitive event that she partook in at elementary school and struggled to make her voice heard as she worked with the upperclassmen coordinators…only to become the lead coordinator and the president of the organization two years later.

The sophomore who had a bright outlook on life and was sure that life was going her way and that things were falling into place.

The junior who had the guts to take 5 AP classes and participate in 8 clubs as a board member in all of them, in addition to partaking in the spring musical.

The almost-senior who was the only student out of her entire school district to be chosen for an advanced research internship program and who spent the summer conducting research on proteins associated with alcoholic liver disease.

The senior who had hope.

The girl who had hope.

This is her story.


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