03/30/2013 11:44 am ET Updated May 30, 2013

Accept Me, Maybe?

Dear Yale:
I'm not going to lie. I'd freak out (in a good way) if you accepted me. I've dreamed about you since Blair mentioned you on Gossip Girl and I saw images of your gorgeous Gothic architecture. Plus, I adore your English program. How can I learn how to write a utopia -- a fictional story about my own vision of a perfect world -- and about myself without sounding like an arrogant bore? I admit I fell hard(er) for you when I read those words in a course description. To paraphrase a certain pop song: I just met you. And this is crazy. But here's my application. So accept me, maybe?

Two weeks ago, I received a phone call.

"Hello?" I said.

"Hi, Emily. This is Bill Boyer, a Yale alum. I'm just calling to see if you're interested in an interview for Yale... "

I almost started hyperventilating. An interview with Yale, one of the best schools in the world? I really wanted this. If it went well, it could give Yale further evidence of why I belong there. But here's the thing: I hate interviews. I often get nervous and sweaty and tongue-tied and awkward... You get the unappealing picture. When I interviewed for an internship at the Cleveland Clinic, I kept rambling on about, well, I don't really know, and totally forgot what radiology was. (Luckily, despite this, I still got the internship.) So you can understand why I was worried about coming across as an inarticulate bundle of nerves -- not exactly how I want my dream school to see me. But I know that interviews are something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life, and the more I do now, the less nerve-wracking they will be in the future.

So a week later, I had my interview with Mr. Boyer. We had scheduled our meeting for 4:30 at KidsFirst Learning Center, where he works. I took a deep breath before walking inside. "I am ready for this," I told myself. I had spent hours pouring over Yale brochures and practicing my responses to questions like "Why are you interested in Yale?" and "What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?" I was more than ready -- or so I thought.

Most of the interview went okay. I talked about my extracurricular activities, classes, favorite books and strengths. And I asked about Yale's English program and secret societies. But then Mr. Boyer asked, "What makes you tick? What are you passionate about?" For a few seconds, I couldn't answer. But then, all of a sudden, I launched into a speech about the apathy of some parents toward their children, how it frustrates me when people blamed tragic events like the Sandy Hook shootings on guns, and how society is really the problem. I'm not sure if I came across as a thoughtful individual who is passionate about the right to bear arms and societal problems, or a crazy, gun-toting, almost incomprehensible extremist. I hope it was the former, but the pessimist in me suspects the latter. But on the bright side, I didn't get too nervous, and I definitely didn't start sweating bullets. Two hours, a million more deep breaths, several ramblings, and a few questions later...

"How did the interview go?" my dad asked.

"Fine," I said, not entirely sure if my answer was true or not. Mr. Boyer was really nice, and he had seemed at least halfway interested in what I had to say. But had I expressed myself clearly enough? Had I been too frank in some of my answers? Maybe I shouldn't have joked that I wanted to be an actuary, partly because I heard it was a great career for people who didn't consider themselves too social. Had I pronounced Anna Karenina right? Had I shown my love for Yale clearly enough?

I'll find out the answers to those questions in April.