I didn't think I was smart enough to go to Columbia
To The Unsealed Community,
When I graduated high school, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from myself.
After getting waitlisted, I got accepted to Columbia in mid-June of my senior year of high school. At the time, Columbia ranked top five in the nation. And while I was thrilled to be accepted, there was a part of me that was unsure if I was worthy of the admission.
I told my family I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t smart enough to go, and I was considering going elsewhere.
My brother, who had just graduated from Columbia, responded, “If you don’t take this opportunity, you will regret it for the rest of your life. I promise you will be able to do the work.”
I trusted my brother and decided to attend, even though I was scared and uncertain if I would measure up to my peers.
My first year at Columbia was by far the hardest. My grades depended on papers, and I wasn’t the best writer. Not to mention, we had to take many required classes – some of which I found pretty boring. But I muscled through it, and I was determined to thrive.
Thankfully, Columbia had a writing center where tutors looked through your paper sentence by sentence and provided feedback. I spent hours each week at the writing center, and after a year or so, my writing significantly improved. So much so that in the last two years of college, I received an A on every single paper I submitted.
It’s hard to believe that I almost passed down an incredible opportunity because I didn’t believe in myself.
Now, whatever challenge I face in life, I still don’t know what to expect from myself. But my experience at Columbia taught me that if I push myself and work hard, I should always expect to surprise myself.
We are all capable of way more than we even know.
Always believe in your greatness,