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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

College Apps: Success is in eye of beholder

    By Leslie Lim
    Staff Writer

    With shaky hands, I clicked submit on my Early Decision application to Vassar College. A sigh of relief escaped me as I watched the cartoon confetti floating across the screen, congratulating me for applying.

    The expectation that I have to attend a prestigious college has always hung over my head. When I was a freshman, my brother got into University of California, Berkeley. After my family celebrated, my parents told me that one day I would go to Berkeley, too.
    This was the bar that was already set for me and, throughout high school, I struggled to meet it.
    Sophomore year, I had multiple anxiety attacks and depressive episodes resulting in the first three B’s I had ever received in a row. In my junior year, I struggled with Pre-Calculus, a subject that my friends deemed as easy.
    When I started the college process, I was still hung up on going to an elite college just for parental approval and the status I thought I would obtain if I attended. This, coupled with my less than adequate GPA for the average students accepted of some of the schools, worsened my anxiety and fears about applying to college.
    However, when I started researching colleges, I realized that I did not want to go to a UC, but rather a small liberal arts college. I would be able to thrive in the flexible curriculum of a liberal arts school.
    “But why would I go to a college no one knows about,” I asked myself.
    This thought sparked a realization for me. Going to a prestigious college does not secure my future happiness. If anything, basing my decisions on the name of the school would ensure my dissatisfaction.
    The very notion that we should base our college decision on a superficial idea of being better than our peers is utterly ridiculous and perpetuates a toxic culture of placing too much of people’s worth in where they go to school.
    When I decided to apply early decision to Vassar College, I knew I wanted to go there for the right reasons. The interdisciplinary nature of the environmental studies program and lovely community brought me to this conclusion not the name, not what other people would think of me if I went there, but because I think I will belong there.
    Seniors, as you finish the horrible, horrible, process of applying to college, remember that, first and foremost, what matters is your true feelings about a college. It is where you will eat, sleep, work, and thrive for the next four years. Make your decision wisely and without thought for what other people might think.
    Wherever we end up, whether it be Pasadena City College or Princeton University, success can be found and happiness will follow. Every single one of us is extraordinary and, I promise, our futures are bright, no matter the name of the college on our diplomas.

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    College Apps: Success is in eye of beholder