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July 11, 2011 / windlessly

College: Important but Overrated

Alright alright, so we’ve all gotten those “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” talks before from our parents, and recently for me I’ve had more and more because I have to start thinking about where I want to apply for college. It seems like once I hit the end of junior year, that’s all adults and relatives can talk to me about. “Have you thought about where you’re applying?” “What do you think you want to study?”

And I don’t mean for this to sound like a rant. (So sorry, Admissions Officer, if by some uncanny chance you are reading this. I’m just giving open, honest speculation here =D)

It’s just that college isn’t THE most important thing in the world, contrary to what many parents and even other teens might think. It’s important, sure, and a huge step in your education. You don’t want to just brush it off and attend a college without proper planning and investment. But it isn’t worth a whole year of stress and arguments and dread. College is only 4 years of your life. If you survived high school and are nearing the college application stage, you’ve already gone through 10 or 11 years of school.

So don’t overplay the whole application process. It’s not going to matter fifteen years from now whether you got into an Ivy-League school or not. It’s not going to matter if you got into a very prestigious school or a not very prestigious school. What will matter is how you take the experience and use it to benefit your life. There will be plenty of awesome opportunities to explore wherever you go.

I’m not going to change myself just to get into a high-ranking or Ivy-League college. I do the things I do because I like doing them and I enjoy the challenge and satisfaction that I get out of them. If some of the top schools accept me, I’d be thrilled to go and use the opportunity to meet some awesome people and professors, as well as really getting to pursue a topic or major that I enjoy. If not, too bad for them- they’re losing a person who is true to themselves and not wanting to go a college just to pick up a prestigious title.

I’m excited for college. Man, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I’m a bit tired of my parents treating the whole thing like a death-or-life experience. I don’t plan on slacking off my application essays and such, but I’m not going to devote my whole life to it. Because there’s life after college, too. I think the best approach to dealing with the whole process is to remember that you’re in control of your future. You are self-motivated and you decide what college you want to further your education, not the way way around.

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