Ok, maybe it did not, but it felt like it. That’s the time when I saw the big, white letters on the top of my phone screen, right next to the Outlook logo. “Application Outcome” I read and took a deep breath in. It’s here, my Cambridge decision.
People propose different ways of opening your decision. Do it with your family, with your pet, record yourself, just do it. But I couldn’t do it at all.
Since October 9th I have been living in the blissful lack of knowledge about, precisely, the outcome of my application. Hell, I even got an offer from St. Andrew’s a month later in November, so my ego was boosted in that funny way that makes you think you’re capable of anything. So, when I got an invitation to be interviewed at one of the Cambridge colleges, I wasn’t even that surprised. “I knew you’d get it,” my mom said. And I knew it too.
The day of my first interview I was hit with reality. The warm feeling had all but ceased, as interviewers were there and ready to give me the opposite. They were testing me, seeking the boundaries of my mind, examining how I think. I was so stressed that I stopped thinking altogether. Maybe what I said wasn’t completely pointless but I knew I could have done better. I should have done better.
I came home that day and cried. I felt so stupid, so powerless, so incapable. All the confidence with which I walked into that interview, accompanied by my cherry earrings and pearly smile, was flushed down, leaving me feeling emptied out, like I was about to collapse.
I went to sleep that day with a headache and red cheeks, irritated by the salt from my tears. Now I know that this hollow feeling was just a prelude to what would come on the infamous January 25th.