Monday, March 22, 2021

This Happened

Eli 19.7 was supposed to find out about Oxford on Monday. He didn't.

Nothing on Tuesday or Wednesday, either. 

He had also applied to the Ford School of Public Policy, which is a school at the University of Michigan. That decision was supposed to come this week as well. 

As the week wore on, I started getting a bad feeling. It reminded me of his applications to colleges, when he applied to Ivy League schools and was only accepted by Michigan.

Ironically, that turned out to be the absolute best thing that could have possibly happened. At the time, though, it really hurt that the other schools didn't want him. 

I was getting echoes of that. I'm usually optimistic, but that sinking feeling was tough to fight off. 

I gave him the consolation speech. I told him that I loved him and was proud of him, and how much I respected that he always peed high. He took big swings, which is something I didn't have the courage to do for a long, long time.

"I know," he said. "I just wish I connected on more of those big swings."

"You do," I said. "It's just that as soon as you connect, it doesn't feel like a big swing anymore. The big swings you remember are the ones you miss."

I didn't tell him this, but one of the hallmarks of exceptionally high-achieving people is they often remember the failures more than the successes, and that drives them forward.

It was a good speech, but I don't think it helped much.

On Thursday morning, I got a text that was an image of the email the Ford School had sent him:
       YOU'RE IN

My heart jumped.

I called him right away, and we were both talking at the same time, both so happy. It completely sets him up for the last two years of his undergraduate work, and the Ford School is generally regarded as the best public policy school in the country.

I had a huge smile on my face for the next four hours. Then the phone rang again.

"Dad, two things," Eli said. "The first thing is I got an email from Oxford. The second thing is it looks like I'm going to Oxford!"

I've had a smile on my face every minute since then.

Oh, and if you're wondering, he can do both. It just couldn't get any better.

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