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How I Became a Famous Pickup Artist : Part 3

This is part of an ongoing series. If you haven't read them already, read :

How I became a Famous Pickup Artist Part 1
How I became a Famous Pickup Artist Part 2

I wrote out this entire post before, and then the computer crashed and I lost it all, so I haven't felt like working on it. Finally, I'm biting the bullet and starting over :

The happy end to my college admissions efforts

On Words & threads

Today I had an interview with a very awesome school, one that I have a slim shot of getting into. I was so happy to have it because what a nice opportunity, and it was. Even if I get a rejection letter, which won’t be heart crushing because I am expecting it, I still had such a nice time conversing with a very intelligent, wise man.

Sitting in the waiting room, I was thinking that I drank way too much coffee. I felt a little jittery, and sometimes when I drink too much coffee with nerves I get little panic attacks. I looked around me and I felt very isolated- we are all trying to get into a university that will maybe accept 1 out of the 12 people in this room. A girl sitting with her dad looked like she had just been called up to perform the end-all-be-all, most crucial moment of her existence, the way my intense cross country teammates look before a race starts. She looked at her dad and he nodded, and her dad just looked so excited and she walked off in her little business suit.

Wow. In that moment I just felt such a huge contrast between that girl and me. Although we both applied to the school, I felt like she was part of some planet of college admissions freak-outs that I was never indoctrinated to. I felt like she was meant to be here and I was an outsider. In truth, I freaked out about college my fair share…maybe more than it. I've just been very afraid of not living up to my own expectations, not ending up a place that will serve my interests, etc, but never to live up to my parents or to get in the top ten schools or whatever. I felt like her and her dad probably followed every step to prepare her to be here, practiced interview questions, had toured the school and thoroughly discussed it before applying, etc. I felt like this is her dream school and she probably has a poster of the campus above her bed. Really, it’s not unlikely that I have higher grades than her and a more impressive resume. Although I decided to apply sort of last minute and on a whim, it has become my favorite school as well. But she just looked like such an Ivy-League applicant, with all the intensity and ferocity that you would expect from an applicant pool made up of valedictorians and academic stars.

I pulled out my book and tried to read as I was waiting, barely processing the sentences and trying to suppress my anxiety. I couldn’t look at the people around me anymore. I was dressed a lot more stylishly than them in my high waisted pants and nice top; all of the other teenagers waiting looked like middle-aged business people. Scary. Fortunately, they called my name shortly, and I pulled it together. After I had some difficulty answering his first question, with stumbling on my words and feeling the anxiety blocking me, I had a sudden rush of warmth and confidence.

The conversation was fluid and casual and I fell into comfort that allowed me to actually express who I am, as I realized what a kind and like-minded person my interviewer was. We talked about unfair labor practices in developing nations in relation to the company I work at, we talked about what I want to study and what I read in my spare time, my book club, my role in my school newspaper, and his really interesting college experience and career. We talked about the weather- the California sunshine and the New England snow, how that difference took him west and how it's alluring me to the east. It was fun.

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