I received my first acceptance to an MFA program this week. I feel like all of my dreams are coming true. I've wanted to go to an MFA program since I got roped into going to AWP back in 2009. I applied back in 2010 to my top four schools (at the time), and of course got rejected. It was mostly because I was trying to be someone I wasn't. I've always loved literary fiction, but I've never really thought like others, so to just stick to a "genre" is hard for me. I just write the stories I'm interested in writing. Turns out the four that I applied to could see through my insincerity, and I had to try again. So I turned to a program I thought would really help me, and I was excited to go, but it was overseas and I got sick. I had to be monitored here with health insurance. Cancer scares are not things to mess around with. So I tried one last time this year. I applied to nine schools, all around the gamut of possibility. And I've received my first acceptance. I think everyone who is looking for an MFA program dreams of that day, like it's going to legitimize you somehow. I always imagined that I'd open the envelope and be like, "Oh hell yeah, now I'm a real writer! And everyone knows so! I shall never be hungry again!" Yeah, that's not how it went. My dad handed me the big fat envelope. I opened it, knowing what it was, and I said, "Okay, but what's the package? Where's the money?" "Just enjoy the moment!" my dad warned me. "Yeah, but I need to know how I'm going to do this," I said. And then came the doubt. Did they just have no one apply this year? Was it not as special as I thought it was? Did they get my packet mixed up with someone who actually is good? "No," Alex said. "No, they're very selective and they liked you. Now shut up and eat your celebratory ice cream!" It all reminds me of Steve Almond when he came to talk to us in undergrad. He said that we would never feel accomplished enough. We would never have that moment where we knew for certain that we were doing it right. All I know is that after years of trying, I got into an MFA program. I did it. So take this as a reminder to enjoy your moments of success. Congratulate yourself. Don't double-guess your worth. And know that everyone out there thinks they're awful. As you can see, they're not. You're going to have so many people criticizing you in your life; don't do it to yourself. You need you.