CXLVI A. A Letter's Worth of Explanation -

Dear ———,
         Thank you for your incredible advice and being so genuine. Your articulation of the thirds rule is on point! I completely understand the invaluable experiences that one attains when going out of one’s comfort zone. I’ve been going out of that zone, and, bleeding, so to speak, since early childhood. I was always fighting  and resisting the odds that were overwhelmingly against me - aiming high in academia among a supportive family who put education on a pedestal despite not getting to experience the upper echelons of education themselves.

         With that said, I don’t want to compromise my well-being, which I think I have for some time. I am prepared to sacrifice all concepts of basic human nature, which is a given when studying, but I live by the idea that we can have all of what we want if we try hard enough. I want to prove to myself that yes, the world operates according to a meritocracy. I know that realism dictates that we can’t have it all, but I think we can. Actually, I firmly believe that we can have it all.

         And with that conviction, a couple of days before I received your email, Columbia University’s J-school contacted me. It turns out they accepted my application for for the full-time master degree program and sent the offer three weeks before classes start. I couldn’t give it up. At first I wrote it off and told myself that I was already at NU. Things were said and done. Then again, why do I have to convince myself into compromising? To be honest, I was pissed at Columbia. I had accepted the amazing opportunity I was already given at Medill, however, I knew that Columbia’s program was what I wanted all along.
        I didn’t sleep at all due to a sinking feeling that I could only equate with regret. Regret is like “plagiarism”; It’s a nasty little bugger that evokes uneasiness as soon as it’s vocalized.

       Columbia’s academic focused curriculum, based on theory and long-form writing with NYC as the laboratory: That was what I wanted and I talked myself into wanting something different. I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. Just having finished 3 weeks at Medill, I knew I had to move fast. With that said, I’m flying back to NYC tomorrow and in 2 weeks I’ll be starting at Columbia.

        This week has been one of the most overwhelming, emotional, sole-decision-making, times in my life thus far. As an academic and a raw nonconformist bi-racial New Yorker, I knew I couldn’t pass up something so close to my heart, and my mind for that matter.

        You’re experiences are a testament to your desire to contribute to society and enrich yourself and I truly admire that. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I have such a strong love for New York because of the fact that I’ve been taken away from it so often: I went to Harvard to take classes when I was 16 and cried my eyes out everyday. I went to Penn and came home every so often. I went out of the house time and time again to experience and learn.

        Good luck in ———! That sounds like an incredible opportunity. I am excited to see the stories you have to tell while there. If you’re still in NY sometime this month, we should meet for coffee!


        Reshmi K. O.