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It takes years of dedication and hard work

“Every day is a dream…..thank you mom, ” says my son as he leaves home to go back to Princeton University. So what took us from a reputed school in Delhi to the university ranked first on usnews.com? From small academic feats to an Ivy League admission? School life back then consisted of aiming to be at the head of the class. This narrow vision suddenly changed when Devansh went to UWCSEA in Singapore as a junior in high school. The world became his playing field.

If you are applying to US undergraduate programs you probably know already that junior year of high school is by far the most rigorous. While my son got busy in Singapore with IB courses, SATs, clubs and community work, I got busy discovering the amazing opportunities at US colleges and I was left in awe…absorbing information from about a hundred tabs open on Google Chrome! You could ask why I focused on the US. I realized early on in my research that US as an undergraduate study destination stood out because of the flexibility it allows. Flexibility of courses and of majors allows you to explore diverse interests. Even gather new ones as you go along.

We could form a list of universities to apply to only after SAT scores and UWCSEA transcripts had come in. The idea was to apply to colleges offering a variety of programs like engineering, business, computer science… Colleges where he could shift from one field to the other easily or take up a combined study of different fields.

The actual process of applying was like a roller coaster ride. The highs…the lows…the dizziness…the madness of it all! The first draft of the Common Application essay that brought tears to the eyes, the late into the night editing of the numerous essays (thank God for Skype), the countless arguments over the usage of a word or the relevance of a phrase, the SAT scores, the references, the resume…finally it all came together like the pieces of a puzzle!

It was dead middle of the night in mid December as we sat bleary-eyed watching the laptop screen trying to load the early action admission results. It was an interminable fifteen minutes…then destiny struck and the orange tiger entered our lives! It was an eruption of excitement and pride, disbelief and wonder. What a finish to an arduous journey and what a start to another adventure!

Author: Gunjan Gupta

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