College Dilemma pt.3 / On Being Accepted to ITB International Class


It’s been awhile hasn’t it?

Tonight I wanted to write to you about what’s been happening to me lately. I’ve been wanting to write about something a bit more frustrating and personal, but I’ve never been upset enough to pour it all into a post. I am now however, so let’s begin shall we?

May 1st has passed. Which means that I have made a decision to commit to a university in the US. And this might come as a surprise, but I chose University of Massachusetts Lowell instead. After quiet awhile seeking for more information from the two universities that I have been admitted to, I decided to settle for UMass Lowell and sort of became a part of Umass Lowell’s Class of 2021.

Funnily, I did not realize that May 1st was also the deadline for housing applications for those who wants to live on campus. I only learned that it was when I finally (after two months of receiving the letter of acceptance online) received the admittance package in the mail. I apparently had to apply for housing sooner that I had anticipated to. And so I rushed to have it finished and applied a week overdue.

Long story short, I emailed the administration about this issue and received an incredibly brief explanation: I will still be accepted for housing but not for the Living-Learning Community “because you are late“. Nonetheless, I made a friend from the roommate matching profiles, which to me sounds a lot like finding a savior because at least now I get to know more about the housing process at UMass Lowell.

But in all honesty, I find that accepting an invitation to a university is a lot more difficult than receiving an invitation. What I mean by that is that finishing the requirements to apply and being admitted to a university is nowhere near the struggle of preparing yourself to attend the university. Unless of course you have no trouble with the cost and distance of said choice. Which in that case…why the hell did I make this decision?


Peachy

It’s been awhile hasn’t it?

The first several paragraphs I wrote above dates back to before I discovered I had been admitted to the Institute of Technology Bandung. I had applied there as a backup university in Indonesia in case America didn’t work out for me, and without a surprise, they accepted me.

I say that because I know that it’s easier to get admitted to their international undergraduate program, or at least that’s what my friend who attends their regular undergrad program says. And I know this might sound pathetic, or at least funny, but I actually cried two days in a row out of plain fear when I learned that ITB accepted me.

All in all, it’s still hard for me to get over my dreamy fantasy of wanting to pursue my undergrad in UML (even though I saw it coming from the look of my parents’ eyes). And I still don’t really know how it’s going to work out in the end. I’m currently simply carrying on with whatever life has in store for me. Be it not going to America yet, be it staying in Indonesia for a couple more years.

So yeah, that’s that. I could have written this post a little bit better, but I decided it would be nice to go a bit more candid.

See you around!

On Being Accepted to UMass Lowell

University of Massachusetts Lowell was the first university I sent my application to. I learned about this university through a cousin who graduated from the school earlier and thought it would be a suitable idea for me to apply there too. I first attempted to apply through early decision but had it transferred to regular decision because I haven’t sent all of the required documents yet. *surprise!* After awhile, I had been emailed again to send some additional materials for further evaluation. So I sent them my IGCSE’s and the first semester of my senior year grades. After they promised me 5-7 business days to complete the evaluation, they sent me an email on the 6th of April.

Because of the time difference, it was nearing midnight when I received the email. I had attempted to read the whole email before my droopy eyes went back to sleep. And I did! And it read:

Dear Zahra,

Congratulations!

It is my pleasure to accept you to the University of Massachusetts Lowell for the fall of 2017 semester with the major of Business Administration. The admission committee was impressed by the academic ability and personal qualities you demonstrated in your application materials. We believe you will make the most of the abundant opportunities available to you here and look forward to welcoming you to campus. (…)”

Similar to Bryant University, I chose the major Business with a concentration in Management Information Systems which I will write about in the future, Inshallah. But unlike Bryant University, I didn’t receive any awards that would help cut the tuition fee. I also didn’t really put enough effort in applying for scholarships due to the overwhelming amount of other things I had to do at the time. The funny thing is, UMass Lowell’s tuition for out-of-state students almost equals to Bryant University’s tuition with the awards they’ve given me. So basically, UMass Lowell seems to be a lot friendlier in terms of tuition and costs.

The campus is also not so far away from my uncle’s home. My cousin who previously attended the school told me that it was legitimately only “20 minutes away”, which is great because that means I’m closer to family. But still, regardless of which university suits my heart better, I am still waiting for an epiphany about this decision. Because as I have mentioned many times before, this isn’t something that should be taken upon lightly. At least not for me, because college is very important, especially noting how my choice of destination is across the world with an entirely different atmosphere. If say, my choice was to stay in Indonesia, it wouldn’t be as overwhelming.

So that’s all I had to talk about. There’s not much I can tell you right now, because obviously I haven’t made a decision and I feel like it’s much more comfortable for me to keep these sort of things discreet until they’re sorted out.

Thank you for reading my post! If you have any questions regarding anything related to what I put in this blog, please feel free to comment or email me something. I hope you’ll have a lovely night. May peace be upon you.

…to be continued.

On Being Accepted to Bryant University

I first discovered about Bryant University through an education fair in Jakarta. My mother had told me to approach *that* university’s stand  we didn’t really notice at first after having looked around the assembly hall and was unable to find a university that I was interested in. To my surprise, Bryant University had the major I was looking for at the time (actuarial mathematics). I met with Claire Dunning there who was the Senior Assistant Director of International Admission and was educated about Bryant University. I took a generous amount of new information that I was unable to find easily across the web along with some BU flyers and her business card, finishing off with a thank you and a new school to apply to.

Bryant University was the second school I finished my application with around the beginning of November (I think) through the Common Application. I applied for the International Business -Computer Information Systems instead of Actuarial Mathematics after having second thoughts about what I expect myself to be studying for the next four or so years. Afterwards, I was given the link to my Applicant Status Page where I’m able to monitor my application status and see which required documents are still missing.

On December 11th, I sent my SAT scores without knowing how much I received after having taken it in the 3rd of December. I only learned afterwards that my SAT scores, though were above what I initially hoped for, seemed like “I could’ve done better”, but left it at that. Later, with the help of my English teacher who acted as my counselor, we sent all of the school reports, as well as some recommendation letters from my English and Math teachers. I also asked a friend of mine to write a recommendation letter and you can read it here at the end of this post.

I didn’t get to send my English Language Proficiency result, because when I was about to, I received an email from Claire on January 27th that my application has been marked complete and that my English Language Proficiency result was waived, meaning they probably didn’t need it.

I wasn’t aware of the admission decisions date, I only knew that it will be available by mid-March, hence I didn’t really worry about it, thinking it’s still a long way to go.

Long story short,  I realized that Bryant had emailed me to let me know that a decision upon my application had been posted in the morning of the 3rd of March. And without hesitating, I immediately opened my application status and through looking at the confetti falling from the top of the page, I learned that…I have been admitted to Bryant University’s class of 2021. 

It read:

Dear Zahra,
On behalf of the Admission Committee, it is my pleasure to congratulate you on your admission to Bryant University. We are very pleased to invite you to become a member of the Class of 2021. The Bryant community joins me in commending you for your accomplishments and your promise for future success.

I am also excited to share with you that you have been awarded a Bryant University Award in the amount of $13,000 for the 2017-2018 academic year. This award recognizes your academic performance, your extracurricular involvement, and your demonstrated leadership. The award is renewable for four consecutive years, a $52,000 value, provided you maintain a 2.7 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) as a full-time undergraduate student.

(…)

At that moment, unlike many others, I didn’t instantly react positively. In fact, it took me quiet some time to process this celebratory news. I was more confused than I were excited at first. I think it’s because I wasn’t certain what to do with this information now, and because I was already having quiet an upsetting morning.

The same reaction, I received from my parents. None of them really congratulated me…which was okay because I tried to understand that it may be because they too needed time. Therefore, in unraveling my emotions, I sought to others and tried to hear their responses. Some were genuinely happy for me and really wanted me to attend Bryant, one hopped around like a bunny (hint: it’s the friend who wrote the recommendation letter) and some were more persevered in their reaction and simply congratulated me like a birthday wish. I absorbed all of their responses and slowly understood that I should be more grateful in hearing about this news.

Though I’m still unsure whether or not I will attend Bryant University, due to the distance and cost of attending, I’m certain that I’d like to go there. In the meantime, I will continue to observe where this will lead to. And for all I know I wouldn’t want to do, is not saying yes to an opportunity I had struggled for and settle for less.


To Whom It May Concern,

With great gratification, I recommend Zahra Thania for admission in your university’s economics course. Zahra demonstrates tremendous effort and growth throughout her studies. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her make profound contributions both in and out of the classroom. I am confident that she will continue to display the same commitment and diligence in everything she does. I highly recommend her for admission to your institution.

Zahra is a perceptive, sharp and analytical individual. Driven with her demand of understanding the world, she developed a passion for economics. She did, in fact, struggle to comprehend the material at the beginning of the year, but her response to her difficulty reflected her determination. Zahra speaks clearly and eloquently about her conclusions and responded to questions in a thoughtful way. She is an active participant in class and is happy to voice her own viewpoints during class discussions, and often asks for further clarification of points covered in class. Her work consistently reflects a level of insightfulness and attention to detail that is unique to her demand for quality.

I am certain that her intellect is capable of handling even the most demanding courses available. Zahra refuses to be daunted by challenging coursework; rather, when confronted with complex issues, she simply devotes herself and seeks further clarification until she has a firm understanding.

Aside from her academic qualities, Zahra engages herself with competitions such as speech and more outstandingly has frequent wins of ‘best speaker’ in debates. Her natural talent to conclude and fiddle with words to form great arguments bring her unique viewpoint, combined with her awareness and familiarity of content alive. She offers all the qualities of a good leader, and all of the characteristics desirable in an ideal team member.

Based on my observation of her abilities, I strongly believe she has the potential to be an outstanding student at your university. Her intellect is such that it demands further study. I highly recommend Zahra Thania for admission to your undergraduate program. If you need any further information, please feel free to contact me –

Sincerely, Karuna Shivani Rocco Rinck

(School Peer)

This has taken me a full week to write. I hope this might help your curios minds about being accepted to a university overseas as a young, Indonesian and Muslim woman. If you have any questions, you can do so by commenting below or emailing me through zeet19@icloud.com

That’s all for tonight. Thank you for reading! I hope you’ll have a wonderful evening.

to be continued…