For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
Display img 2117
Apr 30 2017
by Alyson Chuyang

Why You Shouldn't Be So Hung Up on a 'Top School'

By Alyson Chuyang - Apr 30 2017
The flood of college acceptance and rejection letters just came and you’re hopelessly looking at the list of checks and crosses you have next to the schools you applied to. You look at your top school — the one you beamed so brightly at, the one whose colors you expected to wear — and it has a giant "X" next to it. It stings right after you get that thin envelope in the mail, but you shouldn’t fret, and here’s why.

The school you chose to be your top priority might have offered the best programs for your desired major and the best location, and it may overall have been like a golden retriever you saw at the pound — it glowed above the rest. But we have to be honest with ourselves: it goes to our heads. You fantasize about going to a school for a while, and it almost becomes a reality for you. That’s the flaw. My high school told me to pick reach, target and safety schools. I was so hopeful for that top school to pick me that I almost bought their sweatshirt on a tour.

Here is the thing: you will enjoy your time wherever you go. And you will also work the hardest wherever you go, because your habits don’t change. If you think one school has "one look," you need to let that stereotype go. You will meet people from all over the place, even if you only travel 30 minutes away from your house. I was bitter about going to one of my safety schools because I felt that my mind would not be blown by its uniqueness, but boy was I wrong. There are people from every walk of life and that will be a reality wherever you get to school in the fall.

High school seniors like to believe that the college they go to is the stamp of their existence for the rest of their life. It isn’t. After high school, most people don’t keep in touch with people outside of their main circle, who really won’t care if you ended up going to a state school when you planned on going to a private school. At the end of my senior year, I felt so mediocre next to my classmates. People knew me for doing pretty well in school, but that didn’t match up with everyone in my class who went to Berkeley or Stanford. But soon, you realize that the place you are in is where you were meant to go.

Don’t think I’m trying to be cheesy, but everything falls into place. High schools (well, at least my school) put so much pressure on where you were going to college, what you have to do to get into a four-year, the career success rate straight of certain colleges, etc. Firstly, don’t be fooled by those statistics. Anyone can get a job straight out of college if you work hard enough and really put your mind to it. You could go to the greatest school with the slimmest acceptance rate but have slumps of debt, never go to class and wonder why you aren't getting a job.

It is all up to you to choose your future. Once you get accepted into college, the work isn’t over. It’s now your choice to do what you want to do. You’ll feel that independence growing in you each day and you will enjoy it. It’s called adulting, and like Nike says, "Just do it."

Lead Image Credit: Alyson Chuyang

Want to write for Fresh U? Join now
Want more Fresh U? Like us on Facebook!
Alyson Chuyang - San Jose State University

Alyson is an aspiring journalist from the sunny state of California. She is pursuing journalism at San Jose State University and takes inspiration from her experiences around campus and in her sorority. In her free time, she loves to go to concerts, play with her two-year old Westie, and try new food spots. She also blogs about all of it on her personal blog,!

Most Popular