This is the first goodbye letter I ever wrote. Of course I didn't know it was goodbye when I wrote it. I still had a little bit of hope then. I was only fifteen. I didn't know what not hoping was. She wrote back a few short sentences, nothing worth putting down on paper.
Drew Gilpin Faust; President at Harvard,
I have written this letter to express my thanks to Harvard University. I am an incoming sophomore in Connecticut at Weston High School. Ever since second grade, I have wanted to go to Harvard and become a doctor. It seemed within reach until this year, when my constant GPA of 4.0 suddenly became a 3.25 when I received my first bad grade in Honors Geometry. It was a slap in the face to see the number on my report card, and I suddenly felt as if I was watching my entire dream, and future, die. It wasn't that I wasn't smart, but before freshman year, I had never been asked to balance so much in my life, and it all came so fast. Athletics, clubs, community service and internships were thrown at me from every direction, and with my dream in mind, I accepted. My whole school year was revolving around what was going to look good on my application to Harvard.
I took an advanced computer course on Microsoft tools so that I would be able to write the words "Well versed in advanced computer applications, including, but not limited to Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel," just as the course had described. Due to injury, I could not participate in sports, but I filled that gap with as many clubs as I could. I joined Film Studies, Teens Against Violence, Costumes, and accepted an internship with a local designer. Before I knew it I was studying at two in the morning because I'd been at school until 10 working on the play. I was living on three hours of sleep a day, and getting to school an hour early to develop photography pictures and meet with my math teacher for a quick help session. I was on fire, or so I thought. Unfortunately, I quickly burnt out.
The help sessions weren't enough to save my math grade, I couldn't develop photos fast enough to finish my final project, the extra time in costume severely hurt my biology final, Film Studies began conflicting with teen violence, and by the end of the year I was barely doing any of them besides Newspaper, which I had joined later after many months of not being able to find the time.
So the year went on, myself more disappointed at my academic performance that year than anyone. I began to push Harvard out of my head and turn to lesser, but still great schools like UC Berkeley, then almost forgetting medicine altogether and looking for a school with a good writing program. I figured I had a better chance following a natural talent that something I'd really have to study and learn to succeed at. Then things changed.
Today, my father sent me a video workshop that talked about choosing the right college, and simply on impulse, I filled in your school as my number one choice and went to your website. After reading nearly every page, clicking every link, and examining every image like a Picasso, I realized why I fell in love with Harvard. I dreamed of walking around on that large and beautiful campus, attending classes with enthusiastic educators, meeting people with a love of learning and a passion for what they want to do, not for what the average GPA was. Harvard is an amazing school that any student would be lucky to attend, but it's not the only school.
That is not to say I have given up on getting back to my 4.0 GPA because I haven't. I'm looking forward to this year so I can start new and maybe end with a 4.20. I still want to go to Harvard, but if I don't get in, I want to have a school with those same great qualities to fall back on.
So thank you. Your school has led me to strive for greatness for nearly a decade, and has taught me a lot about myself and what I want. It has taught me that quitting is not an option, and college is not the future, but a portal into it. It's a necessary stepping stone to reaching the place you want to be. Perhaps I'll be walking through Harvard's doors in three years, or maybe UC Berkeley's, but wherever I end up I will always remember the first dream I ever had, and how it changed all the dream after it.
|Amanda Seyfried||as Tinsel Delaney|
|Ryan Reynolds||as Drew|
|Shia LaBeouf||as Eddie|
|Jesse Eisenberg||as Samuel G|