Rachel Grate
April 20, 2015 1:14 pm

I get upset when I accidentally lose a jacket or misplace a favorite ring. So I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose your house, and still pick yourself up the next day without losing sight of your dreams. So I’m SUPER impressed by Hurricane Sandy survivor Daria Rose, who didn’t just stay strong through losing her house — she kept focused on her dreams during a year and half of living in transit afterwards. And Daria’s strength has finally paid off with seven Ivy League acceptances.

Her sophomore year of high school, Daria Rose had to evacuate her home in Long Island and stand by while Hurricane Sandy and a subsequent house fire destroyed all of her family’s possessions. (To put things in perspective, my biggest concern of sophomore year was which boy I would ask to the Sadie’s dance.)

“You just never really think it can happen to you,” Daria told ABC News. “We had to move from hotel to hotel. We stayed with my grandmother for a couple of months, then moved back to a hotel.”

It wasn’t just the life-shattering changes that Daria struggled with — it was the little things that hurt, too. We can all relate when she says that she misses the clothes, makeup and jewelry she lost with her home. After all, just because your life has completely changed doesn’t mean you stop being a teenager.

But despite the upheaval of her entire life as she knew it, Daria never lost sight of her dream of attending an Ivy League school. So she threw herself into her studies and used her experience to write a stellar admissions essay that got her into the best schools in the country.

“After moving so much and meeting so many different people, I learned I can adapt and adjust to all these different situations and people,” Daria said.

Of course, her parents couldn’t be prouder. “It’s easy to say I’m just going to lay here in a ball and cry and wallow in my own self pity,” her mom told ABC News. “She’d get up and put one foot in front of the other.”

Now, Daria gets to decide which situation she wants to place herself in next. With 14 total acceptances — half of which are Ivy League — she has a tough choice ahead of her. (She didn’t even apply to Columbia, making it unanimous that Rose has an incredibly bright future ahead.) Thankfully, at the end of it all, she’ll finally have a place to call home for the next four years. Now that’s definitely worth celebrating.

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