Exhale.

I know, I know. You were expecting that big UPS package. The one with the folder inside. The hand-glued ribbon. Instead, you got the regular #10 envelope. What the heck?

I am not going to write a blog post about how sorry we are that we couldn't take you, we had a lot of great applicants, etc. You have that letter. I know, I helped stuff the envelopes. I know what it says. I know that it stinks. I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of news that you don't want to get, and that you weren't expecting. There's no way around it. It feels huge. Like a too-big gulp of water that hurts going down. And you wonder for a minute if it IS going to go down, because it hurts and it feels impossible. And sometimes it feels like the world ought to stop for a second and recognize that you're hurting, but it just keeps going on, and you wonder how everyone else can possibly feel fine when you feel so terrible.

We brought you to campus, made you fall in love, and then just when you started picturing yourself here we sent you the regular envelope. Even after you told all your friends that this was your dream school and you started saying "When" and not "If". This is the part that is hard for us too. We fell in love with you all. We finally got to meet you and see what you looked like; we met your parents and learned your dog's name and all the things that make people friends. And we had to see that envelope, the #10 regular envelope with your name on it, and think of your smiling face and how much fun you were having and how disappointed you are going to be.

What makes me able to do this job is that I know for a fact that you are amazing. We didn't turn down anyone who wasn't. You are going to go somewhere else in September, you are going to do extremely well there, and you aren't even going to be thinking of Olin. You are going to make friends, and go to parties, and love your classes. You are going to find a club to join with likeminded people and it's going to be perfect. The next time you will think about us is when your little cousin applies and at Thanksgiving Aunt Carole says "Didn't you apply to Olin?" and no one hears what your answer is because there's 25 people there and someone's baby is crying and Nana might have burned the gravy and Uncle Dan is laughing at the story about the dog that ran away. You will realize that you don't care about Olin anymore, because you have everything you ever wanted somewhere else. You will be living a present that is wonderful. Perfect. Like you.

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