I grew up in Turkey and I was never a very good student. I didn’t go to a particularly good school so when I decided that I wanted to become a diplomat that seemed like an unattainable dream. In Turkey only about 10 spots open up every year for admission to the diplomat school. Before going to college we all had to take this big exam. I studied a lot or what I thought was a lot… I studied for 3 hours every day and initially I was really proud of myself. But some of my friends spent 12 hours a day studying, and when I realized that I got scared. I tried to study more but found that after 3 hours I just couldn’t concentrate anymore. Even if I was spending more time at my desk, I just ended up doodling.
The time came to take this exam. When I was filling out the exam it seemed way too easy, it was so unreal… I was convinced that I was solving the problems all wrong but when the results came in I learned that I only missed 3 questions out of the 100… nobody, including me believed that it was possible. My mom kept asking me if I cheated… even she couldn’t believe that I had this in me. It’s actually kind of sad that nobody saw my potential.
Because of my high scores I got one of these coveted spots at the diplomat school and I received a full scholarship. I was even featured in the Turkish newspaper. Since my parents didn’t have to pay anything for my college my dad bought me a car. Kind of funny that my three siblings had to take the bus to university, and I was able to just pull up in a car, but my dad paid a lot of tuition for their schooling so he said that this was the fair thing to do.