On 2021, pt. 1/3: happy sadness

This year was the most wonderfully chaotic, beautifully tragic, and terrifyingly enjoyable year I have had in my 18 years of life. My January 2021 self could have never imagined that I would travel to Providence, to New York City, to Boston. This was the year that growing up became reality, in both good and bad ways. My January 2021 self could not have imagined losing two grandparents this year, either.

April 2021, second-semester seniors find freedom

Here’s a little recap:

January: A sleepy month, a cozy month spent at home. Turned in the last of my college applications (yay!), spent hours on call with my WTP unit (watched Harold + Kumar go to WhiteCastle; pondered a lot about philosophy and the common good only to figure out that there really is no common good), enjoyed my first month of second semester senior year (took many Zooms while in bed).

February: When disaster struck. The day before Valentine’s Day. I don’t think I can ever forget the sound of my Mom’s voice when she got the phone call. I understood word for word what she was saying but my brain could not register it at all. Then, the goodbye at the airport, the start of a five-month absence. Everything happened too quickly and measuring my mom’s absence by missed milestones (college decisions, graduation) hurt. I always thought it was cheesy when people said they were angry at the world, but suddenly, that became me. This was the first death that I’d experienced at an age where I could finally comprehend the scope of the issue and it confused me.

  • This was also the month that I was participated in my first interviews ever, for college (had an existential crisis, felt dehumanized by the thought that I was just another applicant they had to get through, realized that I would have to face many more in the future). We also lost WTP states :(

March: Another sleepy month, but in the spring. The first waves of college decisions came out, and I took some L’s (let me in!! let me in!!). At that point, I had come to terms with my high school experience and found relative peace, so the expected bought of tears and heartbreak did not occur (though there was a lot of checking reddit and forums, wondering if a couple of sentences would have made a difference). One memorable date was March 15th, when UCLA decisions came out. This was the first moment of extreme happiness that I felt? Some relief too? I can’t really describe it.

April: Wonderful! Started with spring break and possibly the best news I’ve ever received in my entire life. I had already given up and prepared myself for a rejection (did not even record my reaction because I thought there was nothing to record). I can still remember how it felt, in that moment, to see the “WELCOME TO BROWN” materialize on the screen; the mixture of disbelief, shock, and pure, unadulterated happiness. Running to tell my dad, interrupting his work call, but at that point, I didn’t even care. (I did fully sink down to the ground in his office). Video calling my mom, who started screaming and crying more than I even did. The rest of the day was spent doing nothing, just idling in a sort of happy shock, realizing that everything that I had worked for in the last 4 years came to this moment. I could only begin to comprehend what lay ahead. The next morning, Taylor Swift released “Mr. Perfectly Fine” from the Fearless Vault, and I spent the entire morning dancing in my room. I think part of my joy was encapsulated in that song. Even now, hearing “Mr. Perfectly Fine” brings me back to a state of blissful numbness.

Okay, so this was meant to be a couple sentence recap per month, but evidently, I have much more to ramble about. I will finish this tomorrow (I hope).



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