How did this guy get into Harvard, you may ask? Miracles, miracles, miracles.
So, my mom made me apply here. I tried to refuse. I told her that Harvard was filled with a bunch of kids who wear turtlenecks every day or use caviar as shampoo. Harvard wasn’t the school for me. How did I know that if I never visited or did any research besides watching Good Will Hunting a couple of times? CollegeConfidential. And, plus, it didn’t even matter because Harvard would never take me. I was too average. I never cured ebola, I didn’t go to Elite High School #6, and I’m not Natalie Portman (although I wouldn’t mind being her for a day).
But after I visited Harvard, my mom convinced me to apply during the Early Action pool. My mom is very rarely down my back about anything, maybe because I’m the youngest of four and by the time she had me, she’d already given up. So, when she really pushed this Harvard thing, I eventually said fine. Harvard was pretty cool on the tour. She would just have to buy me a McFlurry when I got rejected.
I didn’t really do anything crazy in high school. I did normal-kid-stuff, working hard in my classes, working less hard at my job at Pinkberry, and involving myself in a few different extracurriculars that I was passionate about. I didn’t really do anything crazy on my application, either. I didn’t send in a video of me in a bikini to the admissions committee like Elle Woods or write an essay about how I’m going to become the benevolent overlord of the galaxy (although I will be at some point, just you wait). I just filled my application out like me. Like little old Dan. I pressed the submit button, and then, it was over.
Two months later, I got an email from Harvard saying I got deferred to the regular action pool. WhatEVER, Harvard. What does “Veritas” even mean? Probably something stupid. Told you so, mom. I’ll take an M&M McFlurry, please.
Then, for the next long couple of months, I got my heart set on a bunch of different schools, none of them being Harvard. When the day the Harvard admissions emails were supposed to come in late March, my email didn’t come into my box. I assumed I got rejected, but the next morning, I figured I might as well call the admissions office just to make sure.
“Hey, so my name’s Dan Milaschewski, and I applied to Harvard but didn’t get my decision letter back yesterday in my email. I mean I probably got rejected but I just wanted to find out.” The voice on the other line got really nervous. “Oh—uh—yeah, I’ll go check.” Then there was a long silence. Finally, “You got in!”
Lol, what? “April fools?” I asked. “Nope, you really got in! Congratulations!”
Miracles do happen, or, in my case, huge lapses in judgment at the admissions office also happen. From there, Harvard has been, is, and will always my home. I’m pretty sure “Veritas” means truth?
So, my advice to everyone is two-fold: 1) listen to your mom, and 2) don’t be intimidated by Harvard if you’re interested. Yes, Harvard accepts some really accomplished students but they also take kids who are just nice, hardworking kids. The old adage is that your chances of getting in are much higher if you apply. Definitely apply because you never know what’ll happen!