*Please know that it isn’t easy for me to do this, I might regret this one day but I truly don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did. And that picture was taken a while ago so that’s why I’m really happy! I won’t get the chance to wear that sweater again, but it adds some context?

There was a time not long ago when I placed my life in context of goals. I would not get a chai latte if I didn’t get 100% on my calculus test. I would not go buy lunch if I didn’t reach a small goal. You might think it’s silly or pathetic, but get this, I placed my life on a larger scale in regards to a small dream of mine: Harvard. Harvard is by no means my life goal but it was a big goal that my seven year old self did not fully comprehend at that time. And as childhood started to transition into teen life, I found my passions, explored them, indulged in them, and lived them. But when I started recognizing that if I even wanted a chance to making my dream reality I gave that 110% dedication to extracurriculars, responsibilities, and of course academics.

That 110% really harmed me in more ways than good. Yes it brought me to where I am today and I am highly grateful for that. But it also pushed me past my limits. I was and still am taking the most rigorous program at our school which means I’m doing university level courses and taking university courses at the local university in Gr. 12 while leading various clubs, organizations and national level boards. So life isn’t easy, it’s hard. I remember even now or whenever I was hungry, I couldn’t eat because I was busy managing meetings, events, skyping in for calls, etc. I would be that kid everyone was annoyed with because during AP Calc, what was that noise of munching: me. I started placing Harvard on a pedestal and all my achievements became more important than myself. *Now don’t get me wrong please: I fully am passionate what I do and I really want to help those struggling in the poverty cycle by empowering them. That’s my life dream. And it’s difficult when people spread rumours or misinterpret what I do for using it to get into university, it’s not it. What I’m simply stating is the fact that there were times my body told me to STOP and RELAX. My body told me that I was beyond tired that day when after leading a pep rally for Student Council, I forced myself for a long night of studying for a university midterm and calc exam. By the end of night, I hadn’t gotten any studying done, NO SURPRISE! Instead another surprise found me: THIRD SPONTANEOUS LUNG COLLAPSE. Boo hoo. Every single of my spontaneous lung collapses occurred during my most stressful weeks filled with too many EC’s, academics, and commitments. And because of it, I lost myself.

My lung collapses changed me as a person and I am beyond shocked by the personal growth I have had these past few months and years, but it also took away some of my good health. If I listened to my gut and my heart to stop pushing myself I might not have had my lung chopped up. I might not have seven scars. I might not have seen my dad cry for the first time. All these things were because I was focusing on the wrong thing. I placed too many things before my health and I let it eat me away slowly. I pushed myself past my limits to keep going because: Harvard. If I didn’t work hard, Harvard wouldn’t want me. If I didn’t get top notch grades or be at the top, it wouldn’t work out.

Guess what it didn’t work out. But it’s okay. I mean yeah it’s okay after a few hours of crying and talking to wonderful people who I am so thankful to have as friends ❤ but now I’m good. I’ve learned so much from this US university process and all I know is that I’m not going to let a dozen or more so rejection letters get in the way of me helping those who are often forgotten about. And to those who seriously think that I actually don’t care about what I do, please love yourself first (and I genuinely mean love because you need to accept yourself first before accepting others like me). There’s not enough words to describe how much more it hurts when people doubt my passions, but I will not and cannot let that get in my way. If you’re reading this and you’re hurting over rejections or the fact that people doubt you, know that you’re not alone… I’m more than willing to talk and cheer you up 😀

Life will be different after university acceptances or rejections but know that everything always works for the better. When one door closes another opens ❤ And make sure you set your priorities straight because you live only one life-

2 responses to “My Life After University Acceptances”

  1. Samuel Wong Avatar
    Samuel Wong

    That last sentence is gold! Cecilia, you are amazing. I am glad that I know you. I was also rejected by a few top US schools today, but reading something so positive from an optimistic person like you made me feel much better. Keep doing your great charity work. You will make the world a better place wherever you go for university.

    1. ceciliapang8 Avatar

      Thank you samuel! I hope you are doing well ❤ I am sorry to hear that but honestly you are so smart so you're going to do great wherever you end up

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