December 11, 2018: the unexpected yet gratifying day.
The outpour of striking sunlight slipped through the horizontal blinds in my bedroom, waking me up from my almost-satisfying sleep. It was when I casually picked up my phone from my bedside table, scrolling through my (non-existent) notifications, that I discovered an email from Cornell University. My heart stopped beating for a moment—I froze completely. My eyes squinted looking at the brightly illuminated screen as I read through Cornell’s decision viewing instructions. Heart pounding this time, I followed the instructions and found myself reading an online decision letter. These were the words which appeared in front of my eyes:
“Congratulations on your acceptance to the College of Engineering at Cornell University! We are very pleased to be welcoming you to the Cornell Class of 2023.”
For a second, I could not believe what I was reading—I repeatedly clicked on the refresh button of the webpage but I kept receiving the same letter. As the fact gradually sank down, I was screaming inside: I got into my dream school!
Everything seemed like a dream, yet everything felt so real. From founding Sunway Scholars Club to advocating for gender equality, emotions that were poured into forging my little creations linger in me, still. The sweat trickled down my cheeks while I ran around like a madman holding an armful of alpacas, seeking for scholars with common World Scholar's Cup interest, was real too. The smiles that I witnessed across my fellow A-Level Student Council committees when we were raising funds for charity were once again, all too genuine.
You see, the thing is, I could have studied my way through this one and a half year of A-Level programme but yet, I chose to be myself: someone who loves learning not only through textbooks, but through people and their dreams. As such, hearing heart-breaking, yet powerful stories from LGBT advocates at Royal Commonwealth Society’s Gender Equality Training motivated myself to work on a field that I have never thought feasible. Conversing as a teaching assistant with delegates who dare to dream big at Harvard Asia Leadership Youth Camp elevated my mind onto a horizon of creativity. All of these experiences made me realize that grades can only get you so far—it is the experience that will remain with you throughout your entire life. Without taking these non-conforming steps, I would have never received those thankful hugs and thus, I do not regret a single bit of them. It was this dream which pushed me through the crowd to emerge as someone not academic, but rather spirited in pursuing interests which I was truly passionate about. What I have done was to follow my heart in creating my own pathway instead of allowing the society’s supressing system to dictate my own freedom, and as a result, I was happy.
I believe there is always a dream. Whether it is dormant at the edge of your soul, or vivid in your mind, it awaits your summoning. Explore them before it is too late.
~ Miyuki Goay Wei Gee