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“Congratulations on Your Admission to Harvard!”

My life changed forever on March 31st, 2016. When I applied to Harvard, I had no idea what Ivy Day even was, and I only had a vague idea that I would find out whether I had gotten in or not on March 31st. I had a pretty typical day at school, and stayed after to take a practice AP English exam. Once I finished the practice exam, I was absolutely exhausted and I just wanted to go home. I stepped out of my school to a mostly empty parking lot and walked over to my 1997 Toyota Corolla. It was March in Texas, but it was a surprisingly nice day, so sitting inside my car without air conditioning wasn’t totally unbearable. For some reason, I decided to check my email before driving home, and it was then that I saw a new email from Harvard. After I saw that my application portal had been updated, I couldn’t help myself from checking it, maybe because I’m an impatient person or maybe because I was totally alone in that moment. As I was typing in my account password, my fingers were shaking and I couldn’t breathe. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking at that moment, but I can tell you that my heart was pacing at a million miles per hour.


Maria posing with her Harvard sticker.
Above: I got my admissions packet in the mail one day after I got back from walking my dogs. I opened it up as soon as I saw it, and decided to pose with the Harvard sticker that came with it.

When I read the word “Congratulations,” I just stared at my phone. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes, and I thought that someone was playing an early April Fools Joke on me. Harvard wasn’t my dream school when I first applied because I was too scared to even dream of going there, and somehow I had been accepted into a school that would come to shape my entire life. Once I realized that my acceptance wasn’t a joke, I started crying from all of the emotions I was feeling. I was shocked, happy, excited, thankful, etc. Once I had calmed down a bit, I called my mom, and said, “Mami, lo logramos!” (Mom, we did it!) and we both started crying together. It was such a huge moment because my mom was the reason that I ended up applying and everything that she has done for me have allowed me to be where I am today. Even writing about this day now puts a smile on my face as I remember the incredible support I received from my family.


Maria and her mom posing with her admissions packet.
Above: My mom is my biggest inspiration and the reason for all of my successes.

About the author

Hi y’all, my name is Maria Perez Franco. I was born in Escuintla, Guatemala, but moved to Lewisville, Texas (a town about 20 minutes north of Dallas) when I was three. I am currently a sophomore... View full profile

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