Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Saturday 18 May |
Saint of the Day: St. John I
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Would I admit I’d “pray about it”?

college student young woman zoom computer

Ground Picture | Shutterstock

Scarlett Rose Ford - published on 07/16/23

I hesitated. Prayer. I can’t say that. ... “I’ll pray about it,” I began, unsure what else to say, “And … Yeah, I’ll just pray about it.”

I entered the Zoom waiting room to see the words I had prepared my entire college career for: “Harvard Divinity School Interview.” Hail Marys were on repeat in my head while I sat there; I was nearing a complete Rosary by the time the interviewer popped on the screen. The last thing I saw was a text from my mom, “You’re going to kill it, Sweet Pea! Just be yourself.”

Just be yourself

I had spent the past week prepping interview answers that were anything but myself. I was about to graduate from a university that is better known for its partying, fraternity/sorority life, and football than its scholastics. For some reason, God nudged me toward one of the top academic universities in the world, and I chose to trust Him. I prepared extremely intellectual answers for the most mundane of questions. I was sure nothing could stump me.

“Say you get into all your top schools — congratulations! What will your decision-making process look like?” the interviewer asked me.

I hesitated. Prayer. I can’t say that. 

“I’ll pray about it,” I began, unsure what else to say, “And … Yeah, I’ll just pray about it.”

My scarlet cheeks gave away my humiliation. The interview ended several questions later, and I was sure that every shot I had of getting into Harvard ended with it.

As I relived the interview over and over in prayer, I eventually came to terms with it. I was glad that I was my true Catholic self. While preparing for the interview, I was so focused on becoming the girl I thought Harvard wanted me to be that I failed to be the girl God made me to be. My identity is rooted in being a daughter of the King — no amount of intellect can change that. 

A month later, the long-awaited Harvard decision email arrived. I had already picked other top schools after accepting the fact that my Harvard dreams were over, so I opened the email with low expectations. “Congratulations,” the screen read as electronic confetti exploded — I couldn’t even read the rest before freaking out.

Lo and behold, I was left with the dilemma discussed in the interview: I got into all my top schools and had a big decision in front of me.

When I get asked now why I chose Harvard, the answer is simple: I took my own advice and I prayed about it. That’s all I could do — accept my identity as a daughter of the King and ask my Father for help.


This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.

EducationThe Human Being Fully Alive
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.