Updated: Sep 19, 2020
When it was time for me to start applying for college, Daddy became very involved in the process.
He wanted me to focus on applying to combined BS/MD programs (where a high school student gets accepted both into undergrad and an affiliated medschool), though I still applied to other colleges as well. I clearly had no idea where to even start looking for information regarding such things, and I had only ever heard of one combined program (Inteflex at UMich) that was cancelled the year I was applying.
But with Daddy, I never had to worry about anything.
He found books that described the prerequisites and other statistics for successful candidates at each program.
He helped me fill out all of my applications and read over my essays.
He pushed me to get my applications completed early and sent out as soon as possible.
I later found out that while he was at work at GM, he would spend significant portions of his day just calling each program, speaking to the coordinators, and finding out any additional information he could to help improve my candidacy.
After successfully getting invited for interviews at a number of programs, he took time off work to make sure he could accompany me to each of my interviews to provide me with love and support (and to give him some face time with the coordinators as well :-). He didn't care how much money or time it cost him, he wanted to make sure that I was given every possible advantage I could get (though maybe he should've told me to take a review course for the SAT/ACT instead of me just winging it... oh well ;-).
Out of all of the places I interviewed at, my favorite med program was at IIT (Illinois, not Indian, Institute of Technology!). It was in a great city (Chicago), I had family there, and the other candidates I met there just seemed like my kind of people. However, I was conflicted about whether I wanted to go into these med programs or instead just go to one of the other great colleges I had been accepted to.
I thought I was smart enough to get into medschool without the guarantee, why didn't my parents? This thought initially hurt me.
But Daddy explained to me that he thought I was plenty smart enough, but that getting into medschool is tough so why not take the guarantee (a very Indian way of thinking, right??)?
I was accepted into a 6-year combined med program, but I didn't love it, and it was super expensive. It wasn't where I would've wanted to go. I was really hoping to be accepted into IIT, but I just didn't feel confident.
One evening around dinner time, about 1-2 weeks before any of us were supposed to find out whether we were accepted into IIT's program, the phone rang at our house. Daddy picked up the phone and didn't say much, something along the lines of "okay" and "thank you for the call", though he did have a smile on his face.
When he put the phone down, he looked at me and told me that I had been accepted into IIT's program.
I was in disbelief. When I told him that I wasn't supposed to find out for at least another week, he told me she said (again, to the best of my recollection):
"Mahendra, I wanted to call you personally and speak with you. You've been so involved in Manoj's application process, both by the fact you accompanied him to the interview, as well as the follow-up calls you've made to us. And it gives me a great deal of pleasure to let you know personally that we've accepted your son into our program. He'll receive the acceptance letter in the mail in the next couple of weeks".
Seriously - Daddy was awesome. Even other people could see how much he rocked as a father.