Winner of BlogDailyHerald’s Acceptance Story Contest: Alexander Tin

We at BlogDailyHerald asked accepted students to send us their best #BrownAcceptanceStories. Alexander Tin wowed us with this heart-warming story:


The pact was my idea. The terms were simple: no matter what happened with respect to college decisions that week, my friends and I were not to tell each other the outcomes until our regularly scheduled Board Game Night on Friday when we were no longer preoccupied with the stress of the school week. It was ironic, then, that on Wednesday, March 28th at 8:47 PM, I found myself sending a message to the group chat breaking this very pact: “I’m going to Brown.”

I hadn’t originally intended to break the pact, even after finding out I was accepted – I was actually doing really well right up until I got home and realized I had no one to celebrate with. Funny enough, I even had the opportunity to tell my two closest friends when I riskily opened the Brown portal on my phone to check my admissions decision while sitting right next to them. Grace, Juliana, and I were seated in the back row of our high school’s auditorium, waiting for the 7 P.M. Chamber Music Concert to begin, and I couldn’t have been more grateful for the darkness in the theater that obscured my face from my best friends. I’m quite certain I flushed bright pink when I logged into my account and saw the header image with the posters saying “Welcome to Brown” and “Brown ❤ You!” but I somehow managed to keep my composure for the remainder of the concert and reception, even with Grace’s mother periodically making faces at me from across the aisle. I felt oddly at peace being the only one who knew.

Clambering into the passenger’s seat of my father’s car after the concert, I still hadn’t completely processed the information, and I certainly wasn’t ready to answer questions. When I told my father that I’d been accepted to Brown, he was even more excited than I was– I guess it just hadn’t quite sunk in for me yet. My father must have seen this, and he let me be for the rest of the car ride. With my father driving, I finally had the opportunity to read the letter in full– I’d barely made it past “Congratulations” when I opened it the first time – and I nonchalantly clicked the link to view my financial aid. When I first saw the number, it was so high that I mistook it for the total cost. But  after incredulously scanning the page a few times, I realized it was the exact opposite: I had received the listed amount in scholarship aid. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I recalled a publication I had read about this year being the first class receiving the Brown Promise. Brown was already one of my top choice schools, but this financial aid meant that it would also be the most affordable option for my father and me by a longshot. Shaken and elated, it was in this moment that I realized I really was going to Brown.

My friends had to be the first to know, of course. As soon as I got home, I messaged them asking for permission to break the pact –  if I really was committing, I couldn’t not tell them. I thought of Grace, my best friend, who had been accepted via Early Decision to RISD, and how this was exactly what we had naïvely (albeit somewhat jokingly) dreamt of as early as our freshman year of high school – she would go to RISD, I would go to Brown, and we would rent a cute little apartment together on College Hill and adopt a bunny named Fluffernutter and live happily ever after. Except now it might actually be more than just a silly daydream. It hit me all at once. We were going to be going to college together in the fall, and she absolutely had to know. Emotional, I sent one more message to the group.

Suddenly, my phone began to vibrate; Juliana was calling me. Unsuspecting, I answered only to hear excited yet unintelligible yelling from my friend, but then followed by words so surreal I almost didn’t believe them at first: “I’m going to Brown too!”

My two best friends and I would be going to college together. The emotions I was experiencing at this point cannot be properly explained by words. All the good memories we’d made together recently flashed through my mind – taking silly reference pictures for Grace’s art, fooling around in an elementary school playground, roaming around the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, playing together in the school band – and I thought about how many more memories we would now be able to make in the next four years, and I couldn’t contain myself. Though our call lasted only 54 seconds, I felt like I had spent ages on the phone with Juliana. I couldn’t tell you a single word I said in that blur of a minute.

When the call was over, I was so filled with euphoria that I couldn’t stand still. Overjoyed, I half-ran, half-danced around my house until I had calmed down enough to call my sisters and some other friends. The excitement, I must say, has yet to die down completely. I’ll remember this night for the rest of my life, and I can’t explain how much it means to me or how excited I am that I was given the opportunity to attend Brown University in the fall with both of my best friends close by. And I would certainly break several pacts for that.