The Swerve

The Envelope by Trinnity Ye, Class of 2018

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The teachers said the school you got into wouldn’t change who you were. But I didn’t believe them; I felt that the school I got accepted into was all that mattered. I had to get into Stuyvesant. I had to. It’s what everyone expected.

I watched as the familiar scenery around my school passed through the window. High school results were today and I wasn’t ready.

“Dad, what if I don’t get into Stuyvesant?” I asked as the car stopped at school.

“It’s ok. I know you’re going to get in.” He answered, giving me a quick good luck as I walked towards school.

“Hey, what school do you think you’re gonna get into?” Patricia asked as I entered.

“Maybe Utrecht,” I joked.

“Really? Nah, not Utrecht. Maybe Stuy.” Patricia giggled.

“No, definitely not Stuy.” I laughed.

“Do you know when we’re going to get our results?” Joanne questioned uneasily.

“Before lunch,” I sighed.

The teacher then started class with a speech about high school, saying how the school you get into doesn’t matter. Suddenly, there was a cry from across the hall.

“Oh my god, are we getting results next period?” I shrieked, eyes widening.

“I, I don’t know. I hope I get into SIT though,” Patricia stuttered. “I probably won’t make it into Stuy.”

The questions never stopped, with everyone asking each other the same question over and over. We all were anxious due to all the commotion throughout the hallway.

Time passed and everyone grew bored of the same repetitive speeches about high school, but when we heard the creak of the door opening, we all screamed and turned towards the noise.

“Oh my god, I thought it was going to be the assistant principal,” I sighed, turning back to Patricia. “Yea, me too. I guess we’re all going crazy.” She exhaled.

“Do you think we’re getting results this period?” Joanne asked, glancing at the door.

Suddenly, the door creaked yet again and this time, it was the assistant principal, Ms. Park, carrying our envelopes.

“Leo Xhao?”

I wasn’t ready for this.

“Jonathan Zeng?”

What if I don’t get into Stuy?

At this point, the pressure was too much and I started tearing up. I was going to be next.

“Katie Ye?”

I stood up, keeping my eyes on the floor as I received my envelope. Sitting down, I looked at the envelope that I had. This envelope decided my future. The other envelopes were handed out and Ms. Park gestured us to open them.

My hands were trembling as I ripped up the envelope and immediately took out the paper inside. I skimmed through the text, only wanting to know what school I got into. Did I make it into Stuyvesant? I turned the paper over and there it was in plain font: Staten Island Technical High School.

I read that over and over and over. It says Staten Island Tech right? Not… Stuyvesant?

I felt my cold wet tears as they streamed down my face. I knew that SIT was a good school, but the burden of disappointing my family fell on me. Everyone expected me to get into Stuyvesant. Even myself.

After countless minutes of crying and wailing with my friends, I went outside of the classroom to call my Mom.

“Mom?” I sniffled, holding back tears.

“I got into Staten Island Tech.”

“…”

“Oh,” she whispered.

At that moment, my worst fear became my reality. The tone in her voice proved that she was dispirited. I knew I disappointed my Mom who thought I surely would’ve gotten into Stuyvesant. I failed her. I failed myself.

I dreaded going home that day. I was going to be viewed as a failure. The one who didn’t make it. The one who wasn’t smart enough. However, it turned out that my parents didn’t think of me as less. They still viewed me as me. I didn’t get into Stuyvesant, but I was still the same person they raised for 14 years.

As of now, I realize I pushed myself over my limit. I wanted to meet all expectations, which was unrealistic. Everyone makes mistakes. No one can meet all expectations. No one can be perfect.

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