A stroke of luck amid the chaos

March 25, 2020

Quarantine purgatory. Sitting at my desk, slouched down, trying to read the words of my AP government assignment as the words morphed together in a computerized light stream and blurred my vision. My phone sat, only inches away, and I continuously glanced toward it with the urge to procrastinate my work just one minute longer. After finishing the last sentence in a page of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” I caved and snatched my phone from the desk. Clicking the power button, my lock screen lit up to a singular text from my friend: “Did you get into Wake Forest?”

My heart dropped and my face heated up almost instantaneously. Wake Forest had been my dream school since touring it over the summer. However, after applying to other schools and getting waitlisted, I had my doubts about getting in. Also, the website said that I would hear back from them by April 1, but otherwise gave no inclination as to which date results would be displayed. 

Wasting no time, I logged onto my Wake Forest portal, my fingers flying across the keyboard. And there the link was posted in all its glory: “Click here to view the status update on your portal.” Those words gave me no hint as to what the results would be, but I clicked on it without a second thought. 

The screen switched to a large body of text, but I only needed the first word: Congratulations! I threw my phone on the desk, put my head in my hands and just started screaming and crying. One would have either thought I won the lottery or lost a loved one in a tragic accident. I grabbed my phone again and read the rest of the letter just to make sure I had truly gotten in and hadn’t been hallucinating. All signs pointed to the former. Leaping out of my chair, I raced across the house to my parents’ room and started pounding on the door even though my mom could have been on a very important call with a client. “MOM, MOM, LET ME IN!”

She came to the door, alarmed, and still sobbing, I showed her my phone. “I got into Wake Forest!” Quickly skimming the letter, her jaw dropped and then she started laughing and jumping around with me: “Congratulations, Marissa!! I’m SO proud of you.” 

 It was truly something else. My week had been a blur, filled with shock after shock: Coronavirus is cancelling school. More cases reported in South Carolina. The beaches are being restricted. No more than three people out of the house together at a time. But this news, that I was still accepted to my dream school, is a shock that I would pay to experience again. 

Even when it seems like every circumstance in the world is out of your control, there will always be a stroke of luck amid the chaos.

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