Getting into screenwriting at York University was an emotional experience

It takes around 9 months for students to find out if they were accepted to university. The amount of YouTube videos named “University/College acceptance reaction” will show you the drama maybe even better than many movies about the topic I watched (Like “Orange County”). I never dreamed that my process would be the same as the one I watched in movies when I applied for BFA in Screenwriting at York University in Toronto.

My first contact with York was in July 2020 – I applied to receive more information about the school and program. And soon, I did. I found out that the Keele campus has “1,900 student jobs on campus every year, 300+ student clubs and associations with something for every passion and cause, modern, professional athletic facilities, eight undergrad residences, five libraries, and many groups and individual study spaces.” It has its own subway station (the school is 30-40 minutes from downtown), and it has a college system. “As a York undergrad, you’ll be assigned to a college as your “home base” to study, hang out, and feel part of a close-knit group within the greater York community,” they wrote.

For screenwriting submission, I wrote a cover letter explaining why I want to pursue screenwriting at York. My other document was much more critical – the portfolio. The portfolio is crucial for the first round; your best work will get you to round 2. In the portfolio, I had two screenplays with parts from scripts with a couple of scenes and dialogue. A couple of months after my submission, I got a call for round 2. In round two, we had two writing tasks in the limited time frame. Then – the waiting. In movies, that could pass in a minute or 30, but in real life, it takes time. So, a couple of months later, I got an offer on April 26, 2021.

After nine long months, I was accepted to BFA Screenwriting at York University in Toronto, in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design. It is the only screenwriting undergraduate program in Canada that takes a small number of candidates – if I remember correctly, someone told me the acceptance rate is around 10 %. So, imagine my surprise when I got an offer from York while walking by the sea in Croatia. I tended to have imposter syndrome and needed to check it twice. I was more confident when I got accepted to creative writing at OCAD – Ontario College of Art & Design University, and between those two, I chose York.

So, when I got it, I finnaly understood all the movies I watched in which kids nervously waited for the letter from the university. It is a stressful experience that lasts many months. It was stressful for me (and I am a mature student that dealt with stress more than once). But, for me, it wasn’t over yet. As an international student, I needed to apply for a student visa for me, my kids, and my spouse. I read somewhere that only 37 % of undergrads get it. So – more waiting for international students. But, as you can guess, I am writing this from York’s Scott Library, and I am in my 2nd year now.