"Where do you want to go to college? Where are you applying? Have you started on those college essays? What schools have you visited?" Most college-bound juniors have probably heard these questions asked several, if not hundreds of times. Our mailboxes have been inundated with college paraphernalia that claims, "This is the best school for you," or "You'll love it here."
Within all this hoopla and pressure, there lies a problem. Many students get too caught up on the college super-highway. They try to join every club, play every sport, and race, race, race into every activity for the sole purpose of "It will look good on my transcript." In the end, these students have spent their four years of high school (which are supposed to be four years of friends, fun, and learning) worrying about college.
What about keeping one's perspective? The best school for a person may not be the one chosen by Newsweek. It may not be a parent's alma mater. It may not be the most prestigious school. It may not be the school that everyone says "Wow! You got accepted THERE." We need to remember that the "Wow" lasts about ten seconds and the four years of college comprise many ten-second intervals.
More importantly, we should not waste our precious four years of high school obsessing about college. As a college-bound junior myself, I want to enjoy high school. I want to try a sport, join a club, be in a play, or volunteer for an activity only if I am truly interested. While in high school, I want to make friends, develop new interests, and have new experiences just for themselves.
While I certainly want to try my hardest and achieve the best possible scores on the college entrance exams, I also want to keep my perspective. I want to live in the here and now and find a college that is right for me. v
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.