Everyone knows I love reading and writing. In some ways, my passion for books is sort of my whole personality. Okay, I’m joking. I am more nuanced than that… a little. But when I love, I throw myself into it with abandon.
That love has paid off in many ways throughout my life. I’m deeply grateful for the doors my literary and creative passions have opened. And this post is about being on the threshold of an incredible opportunity!
I’m going to a summer writing program at Oxford.
At the beginning of my undergraduate studies in English literature at the University of New Orleans, I fell in love with the Romantic and Victorian era poets. One of my favorite, most inspiring professors led me to Matthew Arnold’s poetry. Visiting Oxford University had long been a dream since my teenage years obsessing over J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and Arnold’s poem “Thyrsis” (1865) cemented my belief that Oxford was a magically inspiring place as he described the city’s “dreaming spires” and its idyllic pastoral surroundings.
As I applied to the Vermont College of Fine Arts’s Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA summer residency at Oxford University in July, I didn’t want to set my heart overly much on acceptance. It’s a competitive program! I hit the submit button on my personal statement and application materials then tried to banish it from my thoughts. I wanted it so, so badly, but so did many other people.
...And now I can say that I got accepted.
I’m going to Oxford.
Me! To Oxford!
From Louisiana to Oxford University in England—the oldest university in the English-speaking world and second oldest university in continuous existence. I’m going to stand on those cobblestones and look at those towers and dream in the places that inspired the most brilliant of brilliant people.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. And I’m saying yes with a gratitude-filled heart.