Luke Mei / Eastern MS ⮞ Blair HS (2020)

Math:    48
Reading:     54
Reasoning:    49
Writing:    3
    The day I received my letter from Takoma Park Middle School was one of the days I truly and genuinely felt raw rejection. At first it hadn’t hit me as hard, but I soon realized that it was serious and I couldn’t take anything else easily and for granted. That “failure” humbled me and gave me the motivation to lead me to my eventual success.

The consequences were severe, I would not obtain the same education or opportunities as my peers at Takoma. My parents were disappointed, my brother was disappointed, my friends were disappointed, but most of all, I was disgusted at myself.

My time at Eastern was time of rehabilitation and growth, contemplation on how I hadn’t succeeded, moving on, and improving as a person and as a student. At Eastern, I strived to better myself, and fix the areas where I was weakest. I was shown and educated on a whole different subject, Humanities. A new perspective was given to me, new friends, and new opportunities. However, I also did everything I could in my years in middle school to try to keep up in the subject of math. I joined Eastern’s math team, practiced problems and learned formulas at home. Dull pencils, scratch paper filled with equations, and AOPS textbooks were constantly sprawled along my desk. I was determined more than ever to make Blair.

In October, my parents decided to enroll me in a Dr Li magnet prep class. I had already been to several Dr Li classes in the past, but this one was by far the most important. There, I saw many of my former peers from Cold Spring that had made it to Takoma. The competition there was intense which further motivated me to want to succeed. The class was helpful in giving me more knowledge about the test itself as well as fast strategies to solve the problems.  I was frustrated many times, as my skills were still not as strong as I would’ve liked. I faced many obstacles along the way but kept persisting nonetheless.

Sooner than I expected, it was the day of the test. I completed it with the strategies and mindset that I had learned in the prep class. Coming out of the test I felt uneasy but strangely accomplished. As the months came and went, the letter finally arrived in my mailbox.

I had gotten into Montgomery Blair’s STEM Program. I was overjoyed.

As I read my test scores, I realized that I would still have a lot more to learn and a lot of room for improvement. From this experience I learned that failures give motivation and eventually, with hard and passionate work, lead to success.