In the 8th grade my English teacher, Mrs. Hecker, gave us a project. She wanted us to research what we wanted to be and how we plan to get there. I remember writing a letter of protest. In it, I wrote about how I thought could never figure this out; I was too young, I barely knew what I wanted for dinner let alone know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. But eventually I came to a decision: I wanted to go to Texas State and become a child life specialist (so I could practice play therapy.)
Then came senior year of high school I applied to two schools, Texas State University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. One was my dream school, and one I just applied because my best friend was thinking about going there. Soon after sending in my application I got a response from UMHB, I got in. But Texas State took longer and after what seemed like forever, I got an answer. It was a letter and it said “Dear Kristan, we regret to inform you…” and I dropped it. I couldn’t believe what I just read. I mean you hear about people getting rejected, but those are kids who flunk out of school or who applied to super competitive schools that were way out of there league, like Harvard. But me? I did well in school. I mean, not perfect but not awful either. I spent a solid week just wallowing in my sadness, rarely leaving my bed. Why didn’t I get in? Was I not good enough? I thought I had the scores, the hours, the grades. Where did I get it wrong? If they didn’t accept me, who would? But someone did.
I ended up spending my freshmen year at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and towards January I started to think of leaving. By the end of February my mind was made, I had to go. Money, time, quality of living all became a factor in leaving one school and possibly choosing another. Some schools came automatically to mind, St. Ed’s, Concordia, UNT, … and Texas State.
The idea of applying to the school that had already rejected me once, terrified me to my core. Everyone said that I’d get in easily, no sweat. But that’s what I thought last time, what’s different now? What would I do this time if I didn’t get in? Last time the rejection killed me, could I be strong enough to take that again? Every single application I ever sent in, my mom said a simple prayer “God, let all the doors that need to be opened, open. Let all the doors that need to be shut, shut.” By some struck of grace, I got in. My computer said “admit to institution,” rather than the dreaded “decision made.” I was absolutely ecstatic, I was yelling on the phone with my best friend. I woke up my parents at 3 in the morning. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t describe the feeling of being on the other side of my biggest fear, it was joy. Pure joy. I got in. To top it off, I got accepted all the schools that I applied to that semester which was pretty sweet!
I’m not writing this to tell you, that it will work out if you try again. I’m not telling you that I made it through, so you can too. Maybe you get that from this… and that’s great. But the real message of this is that God’s (or fate’s if you don’t believe in God) timing is always perfect.
Texas State wouldn’t have been right for me the first go around, I could have survived. But it would have been a long and tiring battle. UMHB was the perfect fit for me then but, now I’m in the new best place for me to be. Each stumble, set back, trial, and tribulation has a purpose. Just because one person at some institution tells you “no,” that’s not what defines you. What you are defined as is up to you, you can let this stumble define you or you can fight back. Don’t let your failure knock you down. You’re better than that. Cry, yes, cry your heart out. But once you’re done, dust yourself off and be ready to give the world all you got. You have a purpose on this earth. You were created for something great. You’ll find your place in this world, it might take longer than you hoped. But when you get there, I promise you it’ll be so worth it. It’s not always the journey that counts, it’s the destination.
You will make it.