As she waited for the bus, Alexandra couldn’t stop looking at her watch and calculating the minutes until the email should arrive: 7 hours. On the way to school, she could barely talk to her friends because of how nervous she was. This was nothing like Alexandra, since she normally cannot wait to unpack the weekend with her friends on Monday mornings after not talking to them for a while.

They knew today was a big day. Instead of the usual, “Hey!! How was your weekend?!” Her friends asked her questions like, “Are you feeling okay?” or “Don’t worry, everything will turn out perfect.”

The email from USC was being released around 3:00 PM. She knew this because she had gotten to a first-name basis with one of the admissions officers she continually pestered. Alexandra was in class until 3:30, therefore would have to stay in class knowing that her future was already decided in her out-of-reach inbox.

Alexandra trudged through the day, trying to keep her head in a happy place and her eyes off her watch. Sometimes she couldn’t help herself: 4 hours left in English class, 2.5 hours in History class, 15 minutes left in Math class…

After what felt like the longest Calculus class of her life, Alexandra packed up her bag at lightning speed and sprinted to the library.