All You Need is a Door

Your dreams and plans can change and that’s okay


Photo courtesy of my best friend's dad

My first visit to San Francisco was on a road trip with my best friend and her dad freshman year and I fell in love with the city.

To be cliche, people like to say that when one door closes, another door opens. When you do not end up doing what you want to do, what you’ve been working for or hoping for, there is always another opportunity waiting for you. Five years ago, I fell in love with travel when I went to Europe. Since then, I’ve gone back and forth between taking a gap year, staying in the state for university and studying abroad, staying home to go to a junior college in order to save money to transfer to another school in California or out of the country completely, and going straight into university in another country.

  For a while I was completely discouraged about my plans for college. The large numbers terrified me because I knew we couldn’t afford much, and I felt as though I was nowhere near as extraordinary as my peers. I was thoroughly convinced that the work I had put in for roughly the last four years was null and void against the accomplishments of some of the people at El Mo, and against the thousands of other students just like me.

  About two weeks before UC and CSU applications were due, I started looking into applying to a JC and decided I didn’t want to take that path. I started writing all the essays and filling out the applications, and ended up finishing them the night before the due date. I applied to U.K. schools just to see if I could get in. Funnily enough, I got into my reach school in the U.K. only about two weeks after submitting my UCAS (the U.K. university application) and then I got accepted to every school I applied to in the U.K. I started getting more serious about trying to go to school abroad and had a whole plan for getting there, even choosing the cheaper of the schools I had applied to and the only one that offered scholarships. Then I got into my first choice in California, San Francisco State University. Everything seemed to be great and I applied for a scholarship that would have paid all three years (you graduate sooner in the U.K.) of my tuition for University of Westminster.

  Throughout the process people kept telling me and my mom how difficult I was making things for myself. They told me that I should wait and do my first year here, then transfer. That I was taking an unknown path. But it’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted, and still want, to get out of California, out of the country, and travel. When I found out I didn’t get the scholarship, I was disappointed, to say the least. Despite my efforts to not get my hopes up, I did, and it hurt when I had to decline the offers in England because I couldn’t afford to go.

  The point is that despite everyone who said I couldn’t do it, I got far enough that I was accepted to all my schools in England, applying for scholarships, and my family was coming up with ways to get me there and visit me.

  My dreams to study far away and the work I put in to make them happen likely contributed to my acceptance to my first choice in California. Even though I don’t get to travel to England for university, I get to study in one of the most artistic, diverse, and beautiful cities in the world. I may not be a train ride from France or my boyfriend, but I am a cheap plane ticket away from my family. So yes, one door closed, but another stayed open for me and although it’s not exactly what I wanted or planned, one of the lessons of adulthood is to learn to adapt. I will not wallow in self pity because I didn’t quite get a hold on my dream. I have a new dream that involves taking advantage of every opportunity I can in San Francisco, including maybe one or two study abroad trips.

  “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done…Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.” – “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles

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