Believe In Yourself

Annett Tamayo, Staff Writer

Believe in yourself and in your abilities. If you believe in yourself, absolutely anything can happen.

For the last four years, I’ve been enamored with the idea of being a college student at a specific institution: UC Berkeley. During my freshman year, I joined a program called “EAOP,” a program that runs with the University. This program guides first-generation college-bound students onto the right path that’ll get them ready to go to college. During the summer of my freshman year, I was given the opportunity to attend a Summer program called “Pre-College Academy.” This was the defining moment for me in regards to my higher education dreams. I never knew what it felt like to be a college student, and or what it felt like to pose as one, which is why I think I fell in love with this campus, thus winning the spot as my “dream school.”

Back in November when I turned in my college applications, I sobbed thinking about how I put myself out there to obtain something that I have wanted for the longest time ever. People tend to want to go to UC Berkeley because it’s “the number one public university in the world,” but for me, it was more than that.  The reason why I love Berkeley so much is because this is the place that not only saw me evolve, summer after summer for the last four years but I saw myself evolve here too. I’ve pushed myself more than I ever have on this campus, and the history and power it now holds over me because of that was something that was hard to forget.

I wasn’t expecting waitlists decisions to come out as soon as they did. They literally came out 6 days after May 1st, “national decision day” where hundreds and thousands of high school students had to commit to a University. In my specific case, I was already committed to the University of California, Irvine. “Zot Zot Zot” The campus was beautiful, and they offered me a “Regents Scholarship,” which is one of the most prestigious scholarships the University of California gives out.

I was ready to move to L.A and create change at Irvine!! Everything felt like it was coming into place. I was going to live in the dorm of my choice, and my scholarship gave me so many perks, I was ready to live them out to its fullest. I thought I was happy, and I was ready to get out of the Bay at that point.

However, On May 7th, UC Berkeley emailed me. I was at Starbucks waiting for it to be 3:30 pm for my shift to start. The email read, “An update has been made to your UC Berkeley portal.” I began to shake. This was the SECOND time that I was experiencing this with Berkeley. The first time, I read an email from them, I nearly cried all week, even though I never necessarily got rejected, but the emotional attachment and anticipation turned me into an emotional wreck when the thought of my dream school came to mind.

I logged into my portal, I closed my eyes and I opened the update.

“Congratulations! I am delighted to offer you admission to the University of California, Berkeley!“

I screamed, and I cried at Starbucks and smiled so hard throughout my whole shift.

I couldn’t believe it……. I got into my dream school. I, Annett Tamayo, actually accomplished something that I’ve worked my butt off for. I DID IT. I still cry every time I read my admissions letter.

Once I broke the news to every single person I knew such as my mom, dad, sister, co-workers, neighbors, friends, all of my social media platform followers, I think everybody assumed that I was going to Berkeley. I can see why they thought that. It was my dream, but it wasn’t as easy of a decision as I once thought it would be. Before getting waitlisted, I said that if I got into UC Berkeley, I would commit on the spot, and that didn’t necessarily happen this time around. I had seven days, 168 hours, to accept and or deny Berkeley’s offer.

I swear I grew gray hairs….

I cried practically all week because I had no idea what was best for my future. UC Irvine was offering me the world and more, whereas Berkeley offered me rarely any money and took me off of the waitlist. Irvine knew how amazing I was the first time around, and for a school that I had such great history with, they didn’t even bother to admit me the first time.

It was day five, at exactly 12 am when I made my decision. After losing days of sleep and deeply deconstructing both schools, I knew what I wanted…

I accepted my undergraduate admission offer at UC Berkeley, and a message from the chancellor popped up immediately saying, “Welcome! We’re thrilled you have chosen UC Berkeley!”

I was ecstatic to be a Golden Bear! With that in mind, I went to Berkeley the next day and bought a bunch of merchandise to state that I was going to one of the premier institutions in the country.

Getting waitlisted at my dream school was definitely a humbling moment, and looking back at it I wouldn’t have wanted my admission process any other way. I learned a lot about myself during this time. I’m writing these articles about my college process in hopes that it helps some seniors next year. Everything will be okay, and everything will play out just as it should. You’ll end up just where you need to be. Don’t give up!