Chapter 3: “On how I got ready”
The following three months were incredible. I think I had never felt so proud of myself in my whole life. I’m not used to that kind of recognition. I just couldn’t believe that somebody had noticed me and considered my work was worth a prize. Besides, it wasn’t just any person: it was OUP!
At least once a week I had something to attend to: answer emails with personal details, send my scanned passport, send an application form to Exeter College, keep in touch with Francesca, the nice girl who arranged my return flights, send a photo of me smiling, arrange my domestic flight and travel insurance, the list could go on and on. Although there were so many things to see to, I enjoyed every single one of them, for they reminded me of my scholarship. There wasn’t a day during those three months when I didn’t think of Oxford.
I should probably add that all this came after a very difficult year in my life. I suffered a lot, on a personal level, but I walked through the darkness and became a stronger and more confident person.
That may be another reason why this whole experience was of such importance in my life: When you’ve suffered a lot, it seems you have the emotional ability to enjoy the bright side of life even more. You just embrace this kind of things and take them for what they are: a gift.
It was pretty hard for me to focus on my work and studies, since I devoted many hours to read about England, Oxford, Exeter College, the weather there in July and August, the places to visit, the food to eat, the seminar, the workshops, the tutors, etc...
I felt I had been blessed. This would be my first time in England and I was determined to make the most of it.