Bonjour tout le monde! It has been 922 days since my last blog post. Please forgive my absence, I’ve been working on some major things.
First, in fall of 2015, I returned to school to get my AA degree. It started simply as me returning to take a French course to occupy my time as my life was changing, once again. Here’s what they don’t tell you: life is constant change. Sometimes that change is devastating and you have to learn to start again with a new level of courage and bravery you never thought you could possess. At the time, it seems almost unbearable, but you take it one step at a time and one day at a time because that’s really all we get, right? Each single day, one of them at a time, one hour, one minute, one second at a time.
I was a horrible student when I was younger. After many failed attempts and a rather successful career in the legal field, I gave up on it (temporarily). What I did not realize was that my career in law taught me something very special: how to learn. At the suggestion of a friend and with much hesitation, I returned to school to do something I enjoyed – further my education in french. I’ve had a lifelong obsession with all things french. I have often felt as if I were born in the wrong country (sorry America, I love you, too, but just not in the same way as I love France).
922 days ago, I was enrolled in summer school at community college. This was 11 months after I first walked into a class room again after a 17-year hiatus. If you asked me 922 days ago if I would be where I am now, I would not believe you.
Second, I completed my AA degree in Fall of 2017 and applied to transfer to California State University, Long Beach and California State University, Fullerton. On October 10th, 2017, I was accepted to both schools. This was just 21 days before the University of California applications opened on November 1. You see the timing of how I finished my AA degree, would make me ready to transfer in spring 2018. I could not imagine waiting for another 9 months to continue my education because the UCs only accept for fall entry.
I had to strike while the iron was hot. The iron was so hot that I decided to roll the dice and apply to four of the University of California (Los Angeles, Berkeley, Davis, and Irvine) for Fall 2018 admission. At first, I did it just to see if I could get in. Deep down, I wanted to know if I was good enough. And in April 2018, I found out I was granted admission to ALL FOUR UCs. The catch here is that the UCs do not take Cal State University transfers and my chance was that of ONE percent that I would get in. I spent nearly 30 days writing, rewriting, editing, getting feedback on all of my personal insight statements until I could no longer make them any better. To those of you reading this that took the time to read them, and offer feedback, thank you. Originally, I really wanted to go to UC Berkeley. I had been up there several times to visit my boyfriend and I fell in love with the tree covered streets, the immense lush greenery, and the incredible botanical garden. Berkeley waited until the very last day to release their admission decisions. In the meantime, Davis came through first on Friday, April 20th. I thought hey, I guess if my one percent chance is Davis, that’s not too shabby. I was shocked. I had prepared myself for the likelihood I would not be accepted anywhere given the statistics. On the following Wednesday, UC Irvine released their decision, followed moments later by UCLA.
My most emotional reaction was being accepted to UCLA. I cried for two hours. I have wanted to go to UCLA since my older brother went to school there and graduated in 1984.
Third, so here I sit, at UCLA as a bruin, writing and sharing my story. As if this story could not get any better, I am finally living the life I have always wanted. I am at UCLA (working my bruin hiney off). In spring quarter, I will get to do research with the professor that wrote the french textbook I returned to college with in 2015. I am taking class with her now and she is incredible.
Fourth, a lifelong dream of finally studying abroad in Paris will happen this summer in 162 days. For now, I have to get through winter quarter and while I’m taking 3 upper division french courses and ballet. Thank god for ballet!
I will leave you with this, if there is something terrifying you that you wish to do – go for it. I am living proof that no matter how scared you are, you can accomplish great things. I had a dream of coming to UCLA since I was 7 or 8 years old and now… finally, I am here. It is terrifying, challenging, and one of the most rewarding things I have done to date.
To each and every one of you that have helped me reach this goal- avec tout mon cœur, merci mille fois. I would not be here without you.
It is never too late to be the person you were meant to be ~ George Eliot
Share in the comments what big plans you have for 2019. I’d love to hear from you!