2017-10-06 / Education

On choosing a college

By Hanah Watts, local high school student

Hanah Watts Hanah Watts It seems many upperclassman face a similar problem… the persistent questioning of where they are planning on attending college.

While I am not an upperclassman myself, I already know from firsthand experience it usually occurs when A) adults are around and B) when any topic pertaining to education, life, or the future is being discussed.

Personally, I believe people judge students too harshly on their college decisions. Just because someone wants to attend an Ivy does not necessarily mean they are going to be their class valedictorian.

On the other hand, if someone would prefer to go to a small community college or technical school, it does not necessarily mean they were not “smart enough” to get accepted into a large, prestigious university.

Teens should make choices about postsecondary education based on the environment they believe they would best fit in, and more importantly, what major they are passionate about.

Discouraging comments about college choices from random bystanders you barely know is not as helpful as you may believe. I do have an idea of some colleges I would like to attend, with an Ivy League or two ranking fairly high on the list. Yet, would I be accepted to an Ivy? I certainly do not know, but I can dream big.

However, if you were to ask me what I want to do with my life, I would have to give you the completely honest answer of “I don’t know.”

I still have plenty of time to figure it out. After all, theoretically, the major you choose is what you are supposed to do for the rest of your working years, right?

People like to be “sarcastic” and make remarks such as, “You need to make straight 98s or above to get into that college,” or “Do you know what that school’s average SAT scores are?”

And trust me, if those are intended to be “subtle hints” about studying more, they help me out zero percent of the time. If I have spent all this time researching a college program I am interested in, don’t you think I would have looked at all of that?

Therefore, adults and teens alike need to stop making assumptions about people based on where they want to continue their education.

Selecting a college is a stressful decision that somewhat determines the next four (or however many) years of a person’s life.

If you have genuinely helpful tips, by all means, please share them. But…if all you have to say are snide remarks that do not aid at all in the decision making process, please keep them to yourself. For everyone’s sanity.

Eragon looked back at him, confused. “I don’t understand.” “Of course you don’t,” said Brom impatiently. “That’s why I’m teaching you and not the other way around.” —Christopher Paolini, Eragon

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