Two Roads Diverged In a Wood, And I

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Hello, world.

I am in Savannah, Georgia. Starting my postgrad- Masters in Writing at SCAD (short for Savannah College of Art & Design).

I feel like I’m on a really fast roller coaster (even though I terribly fear them), and things seem to be flying like a rocket for me ever since I left Pakistan.

I honestly have no words, because this is a big change in my life. When most girls my age are forced to marry and start a family, I have been given the choice of living abroad, in the good old US of A, and take my future in my hands.

I had given up, truly. When I got the acceptance at SCAD and expressed my excitement to go there, my parents and family did not agree. In their eyes, I was 26 and unmarried, getting old and nearing my expiration date. However, one day in November, my parents just came up to me and told me that they will support my decision to go to SCAD despite what everyone says or thinks.

And so, I applied for and got my student visa, and here I am. I’ll march my band out.
I will beat my drum,
And if I’m fanned out,
Your turn at bat, sir,

I can sing this whole damn song, and I have realized that I am a theater nerd as well.

To new beginnings!

xoxo

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The Wizarding School of my Dreams

What to do when your dream school rejects you?

I always knew Durham as Hogwarts, as parts of the Harry Potter films were shot there, such as this famous scene from the first movie.

harry_potter_philosophers_stone_58

However, it was my last year at college, and my Advanced English teacher, born and raised in UK, asked me about my majors for undergrad university. It was a routine check up for the whole class.

Since I was a shy student, she barely knew anything about me. I told her I wanted to study Creative Writing, and that I was passionate about it, and so, she asked to read my poems.

Later, she called me to the teacher’s room, and we talked for a long time. She was the first and only one to recommend Durham. It’s been almost 6 years since we had that talk, and however I don’t recall much, I do remember her exact words: Durham is Harvard for writers. 

And so, keeping in mind our conversation, I applied to Durham University last month for their Masters program. I was unsure, of course, because Durham is one of the best institutions in the UK.

I hadn’t received a word on the update of my application, and it had been over the usual 6-month period, so I emailed them today. I woke up to find their very bittersweet rejection.

Sure, I am not the best writer out there, but a part of me wasn’t expecting it… Sigh.

There could have been a hundred things they didn’t like about me and honestly, I would have preferred if they had disclosed the reason why I didn’t make the cut.

Was it my writing style, was it boring? Were my poems not professional enough? Dear God, I hope there weren’t any grammatical mistakes. Did my personal essay put them to sleep? Was it my IELTS score? Was my resume not up to point, or was it just me in general? The fact I am an international student and of Pakistani origin?

Any of these could be the reason I didn’t make the final decision, and I really wish they had disclosed what it was. Because these questions will definitely haunt me for a long, long time.

Acceptance

I got in.

City University London is offering me a place for their Creative Writing Masters program. I still haven’t decided anything yet. And I’m waiting for the rest of the universities to respond. 😁

Thursday wasn’t going well. My whole family was down with fever and the flu. The bad case. And only I remained uncontaminated. They were all cranky and rude and sick. I was baking the whole day, for my grandfather’s birthday which was today. I wanted to try my hand at a layer cake and so far, two of my cakes had flopped. One was raw, and the other was flat. 😞

Overall, everyone was in a bad mood.

And then, at 10 or 11 pm, while my 4th cake was in the oven, I finally got time to check my email. And there it was. An acceptance, just waiting there, in the unread folder.

I finally got an acceptance. I cried, I won’t lie. Mainly because that meant someone in the admission board thought my writing was good, enough to give me a place at their university. My English teacher told me that Writing programs are very cutthroat, and they only select the best of the best. I always lived with the fear of being rejected, or my writing being deemed unfit or bad.

Anyway. The acceptance letter instantly made my day. And I am very thankful, and very relieved. ☺️

Rejection

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, really, and after the approval of my family, I sent applications to study Creative Writing at a few universities in the UK. 

I think I’m too old for a masters degree, tbh. But there is no harm in applying, so I went forward with it. 

I heard back from one of the universities. Just did, actually. And it’s a rejection. 

This just makes me numb. I don’t feel anything. It is definitely what I was afraid of. One of the reasons why I almost never took part in the writing competitions at school. I was afraid of exactly this. 

Now I’m just thinking I am so stupid to believe that I could be a writer. Wow. Because if they rejected me, I must be really bad. 

And I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel.