Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi Read Online (FREE)
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Princeton University: Admission Office
P.O. Box 430
110 West College
Princeton, New Jersey, 08544-0430
March 15, 2019
Once again, congratulations. We are thrilled to be offering you admission for the Class of 2023. As you applied early admission, we know you are as excited as we are about this splendid news.
As we wrote earlier, you and your parents or guardians are invited to join us for our April hosting program to learn more about Princeton. An invitation is enclosed with our earlier mailing. Our faculty members are interested in meeting you and we hope you can join us.
We are still waiting on your response card, which you need to fill out and return to us with a May 1 postmark.
Irene McAndrew Malloy
Dean of Admissions
30 Days Until Deadline
“And, finally, why you?”
Sana watched the interviewer. The woman had on a dark, boxy suit and had her hair fixed in a sleek, long bob. She was dressed to blend, to be forgettable. But Sana saw the interviewer’s sharp eyes.
Sana smiled—a calculated half smile. “Why me? As opposed to someone else? Look, I know you’ve got thousands of applicants for this position. Who doesn’t want to add working at a research genetics hospital in rapidly industrializing India to their future med school application?”
The interviewer nodded. Patient, but unimpressed.
“I’ve wanted to be a surgeon my whole life. I’ve practiced stitching with cross-stitch and embroidery since I was ten. I’ve been playing video games for longer than that. My hand-eye coordination is off the charts, frankly. I’ve taken every premed class you can take while you’re still in high school. I elected to take organic chemistry in my senior year. I’ve shadowed doctors. I’ve done internships. I’m, like, a poster child for doing the most. My whole life has built up to being a doctor. My whole life.”
Sana paused so the woman could give another noncommittal nod. The walls of this room were a faded slate gray. An intentionally neutral room. A space for evaluating fairly. Aside from the interviews Sana did for summer jobs, every interview room she had ever been in had been similarly painted. Similarly outfitted with beautiful, institutional mahogany furniture.
“But that doesn’t make me different. I’m sure all your other applicants feel the same. Have done the same.”
The woman nodded again, her sharp eyes a little narrowed, waiting.
Sana had practiced this part alone in her room. Having to admit to herself what she was about to say had been terrifying enough the first time. But in front of another person was something else altogether.
She took a deep breath, ready as she would ever be. “The thing is, I don’t know. I don’t know what it is to wake up every day and go into a hospital. To actually help people in this way. We didn’t have the money growing up for me to take any of those medical mission trips. And even those, they aren’t everyday conditions, are they? They’re an exceptional week in the life. I want to know what it’s like to go into work every day and treat patients. I want to know that the past ten years of my life will be worth the next forty. I guess that makes me kind of bananas. Train to be a doctor, take the big paycheck, kid. That’s what my dadu would say. My father, too.”