Abby Wu and her parents sat side by side on the living-room couch in their apartment. The sun had not yet risen on this chilly December morning, and they would greet one of the most consequential moments in Abby’s young life in their pajamas. Today they would find out if she had been admitted to the college of her dreams, Wellesley, in far-off Massachusetts.
It was the culmination of so much: hours of studying for the SAT, draft after discarded draft of personal essays. And the decision, a dozen years earlier, to enroll Abby in an experimental school where she would have daily English lessons, taught by Westerners.