COLLEGE SOUNDS LIKE FUN:
As a naive junior who still finds a detached [sadistic?] sort of entertainment in asking the 2012 kids who got in where, I can see now/realize that college is going to be…really different. In the past, I’ve actually differed from peers in considering college to be a scary prospect. You have no parents to depend on/feed and clothe you, and your decisions have way too many repercussions.
But now I realize how endearing the prospect is. Not just the freedom, but the opportunities for self-discovery. You really get to actually see, firsthandedly, how well you will survive in the ‘real world’. Where your actions will actually affect your future (ha, tell that to the people who cry when they get a C on their current h.s. tests [disregard my hypocrisy]).
So the actual context of my groundbreaking epiphany was a college discussion of sorts with the upperclassmen of my youth group. It was quite the tame, relaxed setting: a bunch of Asian teenagers, draped on couches and piano benches, [should’ve taken a stereotypical picture..] sharing life. We had four weathered, experienced, high school grads-all of which had great, splendid things to offer us. One representative from UCSD, one from UC Berkeley, one from UCLA, and one from UO–
Yeah, ‘representatives’ ? Maybe wrong choice of words- not trying to dehumanize them. In truth, they were actually all people I feel familiar with, either because I watched them while growing up at church, or because I am close friends with them. So at first it was kind of hard to take their advice entirely seriously cause I established our differences a long time ago. Obviously, the stuff about extracurriculars, campus life, food, church, etc. was very very insightful. But when it came to the classes…I felt sort of a detached smugness. Like psh, English being hard? Since when is whipping out an essay every two days a feather-ruffling task? Perfect grades shouldn’t apply to me, I’m not gonna sell 8 years of my life trying to change the world in the med field….
When I came home tonight wondering what exactly was the most vital part of what I took away..it struck me.
In the end, i realized that I was still suffering some sort of sour-grapes phenomenon with this…college business. My friends have all heard back from the majority of their choice colleges by now. Some have achieved success, some haven’t, and it’s all entirely random. To the point where I wonder why I even am so bitter and pissed about my bad GPA (keep in mind I say this with grade inflation rampant in my high school). Although some graduates from last year didn’t know what to expect from their not-top-choice school, they all unconditionally ended up loving it.
So where does that put me? I now realize that talent is out there– waiting to be discovered. There are a million cliched success stories out there about poor guys becoming billionaires, high school dropouts suddenly becoming famous through some YouTube campaigns, Bill Gates-types running their now little businesses with little-to-no-resources…either way, possessing a work ethic is gonna get you much further. If you’re destined to be someone great, you’ll achieve that even at, say, a community college! ..Okay, I don’t think I’m gonna just settle for PCC or whatever, but hey, Penny on BBT’s life turned out okay…
Anyways, back to this mess-ensemble of some general life-motivating lecture. To me, I feel like now I got those not-so-great-grades or whatever in a justified way. If I was really ‘that smart’ enough to my actual expectations, I could get A’s effortlessly, without selling my soul to sleepless nights, CollegeConfidential or 5-point-extra-credit lectures. My work ethic and my capabilities are reflected in those numbers…for that raging about 88% and not getting rounded, have I not thought about those people who get 99%, unquestionably A’s? Have I achieved enough to hold myself to those standards?
Everyone has their limits I suppose. If a college rejects me based off of that..maybe I wouldn’t have thrived there anyway.
Now I figure my main goal is to make my college app reflect who I am… not who I think I should be. Maybe I need to stop living my life based on what I think it should look like. And from now on, I will promise yourself that from here on out, I’ll make decisions without regret and ‘oh if only”s running through my head on a daily basis.
Of course, this is a necessary post that I’ll probably laugh about sometime next year, when I know where I’m going and will learn to be content with that. But for now…back to learning for intrinsic benefits (although I’d still like to say a big ‘f you, pre-calc’).
So, thanks to CL, NL, JS, and AH.