I don’t even know how to start this post. You may have noticed it’s been over half an year since I updated this blog. I don’t have any good excuse, just the fact that this half year was the craziest one for me.
So… Let’s start from the beginning. My last blog post was in the end of June. July was an amazing month. It could be because it was the last month I could not think about my future (college etc), but the month itself was so much fun. I went to Philadelphia to take a summer program at University of Pennsylvania. It was a Biomedical Research program and it was insane. If I’m being honest, Brazilian high schools don’t have the same infrastructure found in the US (I may be wrong, but, like, my high school is a traditional private school, so, if we don’t have a crazy infrastructure, I don’t think the rest, as a whole, is any better). But I could see that, even for some of the american students, the activities and experiments we had were memorable. That may be because, you know, Penn is an incredible university and, well, universities have more to offer than high schools.
You may not know this about me, but I love Biology, Chemistry and that molecular, genetic stuff (it kind of kills me to talk about it like this, but, for blogging reasons, let’s keep it this way hah). I love studying, to be honest, and spending a month studying what I love was so much fun. In another note, I met amazing people that, up to this day, I respect, love, and miss. So much. I made friends that I hope to see again, truly, because we clicked so fast and had the best three weeks. Ugh, I wish I could go back to July.
But I can’t. After my vacation, I came back and started school again. I have already said this, but I’ll repeat: the school year in Brazil goes from January to December; my summer vacation is December and January, and July is my winter break. So, yeah, I came back and started school in August. This last semester was, well, my last semester of high school (yes, as of right now, I graduated already). So, you know the drill: teachers struggling to give all the content, tests like crazy, stress, nostalgic feelings because you love your school (okay, maybe just me, but I do love it and miss it). More than that, I had double the stress.
I always had the thought at the back of my mind that I wanted to study abroad for college. More specifically, get an undergraduate (and more, I do want a PhD) education in the US. So, I had to send applications this last semester. Now, as I wasn’t sure about this desire until January 2015 (or later), I never really focused on that. I’ve always been a good student, wanting or not to study abroad, so my transcripts were good. I had extracurriculars too, because I do them because I like them, not for them just to look good in my “resume”. But, we don’t have anything like the SATs or even the application process here in Brazil.
Let’s take a pause in what I was talking about so I can explain what goes down here in Brazil: we don’t have applications. We have entrance tests. So, basically, we take a test (or more than one. Like, the first test will select 300 students and the second one will select the 100 that will be accepted into the university) and that is it. Most schools have only one chance for you to get in per year and it is probably the most stressful thing ever. People study for, at least, months. Depending on what you want, it is normal to study a couple of years after high school until you get the score you need to get in.
Anyways. I had to understand better the whole holistic application process. I think I did well. I hope. Because I’ve already sent the applications, so there’s not much I can do now. I did my best, and I can only hope my best is enough. There are some interviews now, and I’m excited for another way to show who I am. But this stress is practically finished by now.
What isn’t finished is the university entrance test. I did not give up on the possibility that I stay in Brazil for my college education. My first option is studying abroad, but, if that doesn’t happen, I’ll probably get my undergraduate degree here in Brazil and then apply for a graduate degree in the US. Anyways, I am studying like crazy right now for the “second level” of the test. I got through the first test and now I just have to be one of the bests from the ones who already are better than others (this was a terrible sentence formation, but I hope you get my point). Sad thing is that, hm, I don’t believe a test can measure the best student. In the matter of accepting students, I prefer the North American process. The holistic application is, indeed, more holistic. But there is nothing I can do about it now, only study my butt off. And I’m trying to.
Today I had a crisis because I am scared. I tried to give the best of me my whole life, but it feels like only this last semester determines my future. I know that in the application for the US universities that is not true in the way your whole high school performance is taken into consideration, but it feels like that, because you write essays, take tests and everything in that last semester. For the universities here in Brazil, that kind of isn’t true either, because all the content you had in your high school years is on the test. But it also feels like it because I had “test preparation” classes (the most common thing here), where we review all the content and everything. It is a terrible experience, trying to review all high school years in a couple of months, and then reviewing the review (what I’ve been doing this first week of 2016, since the test is this weekend).
I am scared of not getting in anywhere. I truly am. I only applied to universities in the US that are better in a lot of aspects than the one I am testing for in Brazil, so those are really hard to get in. And, here in Brazil, is not easy to get in either, and I’m scared that what I’ve studied isn’t enough. I wish I could be rational and believe that I’ll get in somewhere, because, well, there are a lot of options. And even if I don’t get in, my life isn’t over. But, well, I want to get in somewhere this year. I guess it’s my fault that I’m only trying really hard places, but, if I got in somewhere I didn’t want, what is there to celebrate… Right?
I hope I made the right choices. I hope this year is good. I hope I am happy this year, because a lot of things are changing. If things happen for a reason, I hope I did enough to be in charge my destiny. But, if I didn’t, I do hope things happen for a reason.
I truly am sorry for this gigantic post, but, as I said, I had a crisis today and I just needed to talk. A lot. I feel like I have a lot more to say because, even after all this, I still feel like I have a lump in my throat and am about to cry all the time. But, you know, that is life. Moreover, this is one of the most spontaneous text I’ve written, so I’m sorry if things don’t make sense and I will try to proofread it later. I just needed to get stuff out and write.
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope that this new year will be amazing for everyone. Let the future come and remember that you make your future. Therefore, you can always change it.