Thank God for persistence.
If it weren’t for persistence, I would’ve never fallen out of the bed yesterday morning after receiving the long awaited acceptance letter from Old Dominion University’s doctoral program. I probably would’ve been staring at the ceiling — flooded with anxiety. I’m a different monster when under pressure.
But persistence (and prayer) is what got me this acceptance. See, I applied for this program last year with menial GRE scores and a dismal statement of purpose that even I would’ve rejected if I saw it as an evaluator. I was rejected. However, I didn’t let it keep me down for too long. I studied day and night for the graduate exam, mustered up a new and substantive statement of purpose that actually had meaning and direction, and submitted my second application with nothing but faith keeping me sane. I scheduled phone calls with the department chair and program director just to attach a voice with a name. With fingers, eyes, toes, and legs crossed, I checked almost every hour for an admission decision to show up on my account.
Then Wednesday happened…
My toe still hurts from hitting it on my bed railing as I fell. I screenshotted the acceptance letter and sent it to my wife and my best friend who both knew how much I wanted this. However, in the mid scream, I stopped and began to think — why am I so excited about this? It’s just another degree, right?
The fact is, an accomplishment like this doesn’t come often for people in the Black community. In a country where we are being killed left and right and discriminated against simply because of the color of our skin, it is incumbent upon us to celebrate each other’s achievements — no matter how small. It was my initial intention to keep this news on the low and only share it with close friends and family. However, once I started to remember how much negative news our community has been faced with for the past several months, I knew that it would be selfish of me not to share the little good news of achievement and purpose that I could offer. I want the world to know that there are young Black Americans out here doing great things and developing into leaders who will mold the world of tomorrow. With this degree, I want to be in a prime position to implement policy, make some real institutional changes, and teach others to effectively influence the decision-making process of governments. This goes to show that no matter who you are or where you’re from, know that your exception does not mean you are on the wrong path. Rather, it means that you have been set aside for a greater purpose.
I want to hear from you. If you have a story to tell about your accomplishments this year, share it in the comment section below. Let’s celebrate each other!