I didn’t get into any of the colleges I applied to. Granted I only applied to two, but I didn’t apply to more because I was worried I wouldn’t get into better schools. I applied to a couple of California State Universities, and as a California resident I was really sure I’d get in. Since middle school, my plan has been to get into a CSU; you only need a 2.0 to qualify.

When I got the news, I cried and cried and cried. I’m disappointed because my friend Jasmine and I had huge plans and I feel as though I’ve let her down. I also feel I’ve let my mom down, because she was always rooting for me. In that moment, when I got my second rejection letter in three days, I felt like a failure and that my life had stopped before I could start it.

Thankfully, I’m really adaptable and I was able to make a plan for what’s next. Not knowing what you’re doing can be super scary, especially because I like being in the know. So I have to take it upon myself to create my own future, which I’m coming to realize I don’t actually mind.

So, here’s what’s next for me: I’m going to write a beautiful and convincing appeal letter to CSULA, then I’m gonna make sure my grades for the last semester of school are good so that I can reapply for the winter term. I didn’t get to put in my most recent grades when I applied back in November, and I’m sure if the school saw how much I’ve improved they’d be like, “Oh, hell ya, sorry,” and let me in. I still don’t want to bank on winter term admission, so this summer I’m gonna take classes at the local community college and knock out all of my general education classes.

My mom told me she doesn’t mind if I stay at home longer than planned—it’s really only a Western thing that says once you graduate you should move out. She says I can stay as long as I want, I just have to get a job. I’ll apply to Peet’s since I go there so often. Then. I’m gonna get certified as an aesthetician, something I always wanted to do, but wouldn’t have been able to if I’d started school this fall. Now I have time for that.

My life isn’t over just because I may not be going to college this fall. The day I got my rejection letter, me and my favorite art teacher and some other kids in my art class were talking about how you don’t need college to be successful. You just need a passion. I know I can still achieve everything I want in life, regardless of this delay. ♦