And there it was—in a neat envelope with University of Florida written boldly in blue and white, her decision letter! The result of three years of planning, studying and working relentlessly were in her hand, waiting to be opened. She reminisced about her journey, right from browsing university webpages, to sending out her application.
“Didn’t you hear? Aadesh got into to the University of Texas! I knew he was bound for great things since his first words. Kiara ka kya plan hai ab?” The last six words in that specific order were enough to startle Malati Mishra, Kiara’s mother.
And then came the hackneyed answer, “She’s still thinking about it.”
Kiara had definitely thought about it. Her room had become her lair, with humongous textbooks, notebooks filled with information on different universities and requirements, and loose papers with scribbled calculations of expenses. She spent a month researching universities–degrees offered, eligibility cut-offs , research areas, location, fees and estimated expenses, scholarships, etc. She finally decided to apply to five universities, one of them being the University of Florida.
She remembered the hurricane of a month before her GRE. While the quantitative section seemed like a cakewalk, the verbal section was pure confusion. All answer choices looked correct, and none of the words made sense to her. Kiara would learn around 30 new words everyday, and attempt two sample papers every week. With only four hours of sleep and college every day, her life had never been this hectic before. After a month of rigorous training, she appeared for the GRE with a score of 303, ‘not great but pretty good’, as she referred to it.
Then came the Statement of Purpose. This was the most challenging for Kiara, because unlike her college exams, she was expected to use her own brain for once. She read sample essays on the internet, watched videos on ‘Effective SOP Writing’, and consulted her professors for guidance. After two months of intensive scribbling and typing numerous drafts, her Statement of Purpose essay was ready.
Her IELTS date was only a couple of days away. “Appraise, apprise, uprise”, she muttered as she tried to memorize their meanings. Thoughts of her visa interview, financial planning, education loan applications and scholarship applications crept into her head. Kiara glanced at her unfinished application. The due date was less than a month away. She had to do so much, in so little time!
She had felt the need to give up multiple times before, but she knew that she had embarked on a difficult journey since her decision to study abroad. Attaining a foreign education wasn’t going to be easy, much less being accepted into a renowned university.
“What is that letter?”, asked her curious dad. Kiara finally decided to open it. She hoped it would be different from the previous university letters she had received. Word by word, she read the entire letter. She had been accepted! Months of hard-work had paid off, and Kiara was ready to continue planning her finances. Onwards, and hopefully successful.