By Aroona Toor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
The day I received my acceptance letter is very vivid in my head till this day, almost four years later. I was driving home from soccer practice and it was just one of those days, I was very tired, I had a lot to do, it almost felt like I was trapped in a very ritual lifestyle. I parked the car in the driveway and then went inside. I saw that the rest of my family, had gotten home just moments after I had. I ran outside to greet them, the thing is this same day was supposed to be the day that my parents signed the papers to sell our first home since coming to the U.S. I had lived in that house for 12 years. When I went outside my family gave me the good news that everything had been finalized and the house was officially sold. I was so happy. We had been trying to sell the house for almost two years now.
As the rest of the family was making their way in, my sister was parking the car and I went to go check the mail. I saw an envelope from GMS, and immediately my heart sank to the bottom of my stomach and I could barely breathe. I put all the mail on top of the car trunk and called my sister over. I told her how I was feeling and I told her I didn’t want to open it to find a rejection letter. My sister looked at me and laughed. She nudged me to hurry and open it up. She also pointed out the size of the envelope, something I hadn’t even noticed because I was so nervous, then she told me, that there was no way that a rejection letter would ever be sent in such a large envelope. I understood that but I was still skeptical. I told her to help me open it. We opened the envelope, to find a folder. Then we opened the folder, at this point I was still unsure, my brain was wired and I was reading words but not understanding what I was reading. I was in a daze. Then I once again felt my sister nudge me and scream, “Aroona, you got it! You got it!” I remember not understanding and then asking her, “Wait, really, where does it say that?”. She pointed to the left upper side of the folder where there was a certificate that read “Congratulations”. I felt myself slowly catching my breath and I could feel my eyes watering up. I ran inside the house and screamed to my mom and dad, in my native language, Urdu, “Mom! Dad! Look! Guess what!? I got the scholarship, I got it!”