To work my way up at work I would sooner or later need to get my PhD. I still wanted to pay off more of my student loans but I figured I would try to apply to Columbia since it was the local school.
This meant that I needed to take the computer science GRE. The problem is that I didn't realize it until a month before test. I had to just show up and be on standby. The problem is when I asked they never mentioned I needed a paper. I learned when I showed up at the school they had no extras. I ran to the library, they were not open yet, I ran to the nearest Kinkos and printed one out. They had one test left but I started a 1/2 hour late. The worst part was that all this stress was a day before the Marathon.
A month later I call, no results. They lost my test. I kept calling and got mixed into the bureaucratic morass of a pseudo government/private company. Somewhere along the way their computers said I showed up for the test but no results. After another month they found the computer mistake. I should have left the results lost. It turns out not having time to study and then starting late does not lead to a good test score.
As part of my application to Columbia I checked a box that I was interested in external scholarships. I got a response that I was excepted for a full-ride scholarship. I started getting emails from other universities asking if I wanted to apply. Then I looked into the scholarship and found out somehow I had been accepted for a minority scholarship. It was frustrating that my grades were not considered anything to talk about until I suddenly became a minority student. Now universities from all over wanted to me to go there. As it turns out there was no moral dilemma of whither or not I would accept it since Columbia did not accept me. It was no surprise with the score I got on the computer science GRE. Well I viewed it as a practice run and it obviously showed a lot of flaws that I needed to fix for next time.