• chantalmcanales

To The College That Waitlisted Me, I Am So Grateful For Your Decision

When I visited your campus for the first time, I thought that this was it. I was always told that the first school you visit will be the one you are destined to go to. People around me raved about you, how they found friendships that last a lifetime and connections that can take you anywhere. It made it easy to fall for you, I think. I thought I knew so much about you before I visited your campus. Then I came, and it was love at first sight. It was a kind of love that most people feel when they visit a college campus.

I fell for you deeply.

It was the unity of your student body. The spirit and splendor that ran in the veins of everyone that went there. The bond was stronger than any other, and I wanted so badly to be a part of that family.

But college isn’t only being part of something bigger than yourself.

I wanted to be challenged, to learn my heart’s extent and start my career in the journalism and business world.

I thought you had everything that I could ever want for my college experience.

I poured my heart and soul into applying to your school.

I had amazing essays, letters of recommendation, multiple extracurricular activities with leadership positions, along with an SAT score well in your acceptance rate.

I typed in an application and sent it to your admissions office.

I thought it was a guaranteed acceptance. It seemed too easy.

I checked my application’s status three times daily: when I woke up, during my classes, and right before I went to bed. Weeks went by, and I didn’t worry. I was still sure that I was going to get in. But then, months passed, and I still hadn’t heard from you. If I was on my computer, I was checking my admissions status. I was getting so nervous that I had my family check when I was in class and didn’t have access to the internet. My friends even logged in to try to see if there was something wrong with the webpage. I was anxious, to say the least.

Senior year was already stressful enough, with completing other college applications, organizing my graduation plans, and preparing for a life away from my family. I was taking in the small moments that I would later take for granted, like talking with my best friends on our way to class, learning from teachers who cared about my future, and being around my parents, my sister, and my dog 24/7. I was enjoying my last few months of high school, and my guard was down.

The one day that I somehow forgot to check my status, you told me that I was waitlisted.

I broke.

I was devastated.

I was crying so hard that it was hard to breathe.

I couldn’t see what my future plans held for me. I was already set on moving into my dorm, walking to class with the biggest smile on my face, and embracing what you had in store. So, when I read that letter, I didn’t know what to do, where I would go, or why you did that to me. My parents rushed to console me, bent over, gasping for air and for a reason why you didn’t accept me.

Was I not good enough? Was I just another number in a mountain of applications that said the same thing?

I will never know.

It took me a while to get myself together and lay out the options before me. I could either attend a school in your university’s system for one year and transfer, or I could go to one of the other schools that I applied to. I was torn. I knew that I would be miserable if I was at some random school under your umbrella of colleges, not getting that first-year experience at your campus. But I also felt that if I went to another school that I would fall out of love with you. My first love.

Being a person who is very indecisive, I told myself that I needed to analyze my options fully. I looked at the pros and cons of each option, and then I realized something huge about you. I fell in love with you for all the wrong reasons. It was a love that was superficial, focused on the surface-level qualities I supposedly admired about you. I found out that you didn’t even have my major; you wouldn't have shown me what I wanted to do beyond my four years I would have spent with you. I was settling for a school that didn’t have my best interest at heart.

I knew I couldn’t settle on my future, so I decided to look into Baylor.

I was very cautious when I considered the possibility of going to Baylor. I was accepted to the school long before you gave me the waitlist decision. But the idea of spending so much money on tuition scared me. I didn’t want that kind of financial burden on myself and my parents. But I was amazed about the dedication and care that was put into creating such a nurturing and welcoming environment. The campus was a perfect size with everything being within walking distance. The journalism department was a perfect blend of writing, photography, and business: the exact recipe that my dream called for. Professors could know me by name and what I wanted to do in my future. I would be more than just a number in a sea of students. I would be part of something that would pour into me as much I would pour into it.

Now, as I am close to concluding my freshman year, I want to say thank you for putting me on your waitlist. Thank you so much.

Because if I went to your school, I would be so unhappy. I would be lost in a school as big as you. I would have to settle for a major nowhere near what I want to do. I wouldn’t be able to walk to class and run into at least three people I know. My professors wouldn’t know much about me except the grade I earned in their class. I would have been swallowed up by you, so I am grateful for your decision.

Here at Baylor, I have had some of the best experiences of my life. I have been granted so many opportunities to pursue what I am passionate about. I am meeting people who care about how I am doing and what I want to do in my life. I am happy. Happier than I have ever been...happier than I ever was or would be with you.

I also want to say that I am sorry. Because you are missing out on my potential. I could have brought so much to your campus, and I hope you know that. I am more than test scores and a well-written essay. I am so much more, and now you will never know.


A grateful student