As a senior in high school, I can guarantee that not one day will go by without someone asking me “So where are you going to college?”. The question itself isn’t offensive or harmful, but for people like me that are incredibly indecisive, it leads to me falsely committing to a school that I may or may not like. I often envy my peers who received an early decision acceptance to their dream school. For the rest of the year they know where they are going and they are on the fast track to success. To help me decide which college is the best option for me I spend countless hours on college websites with questionable validity. From searching through websites and talking to people, I think have figured out what the most important factors are in choosing the right university (please realize that these factors reflect my priorities and preferences and may not be the same for everyone).
Items to keep in mind when picking a college:
Academics: Of course it is the top priority. Isn’t it the main reason why people go to college? I don’t think my parents would shell out thousands of dollars each year if they found out I wasn’t getting a good education.
Food: It is what we need to survive. If your college’s food tastes like a prison cuisine I would recommend not going. The first year is mostly going to be spent frequenting the same cafeterias and eating the same food. Although from what I have heard no matter how high quality the food is, homestyle cooking can never be beat.
Weather: I realize that this factor might sound ridiculous and it shouldn’t matter when picking a school. But truthfully, weather can affect us more than we think. If a person is used to sunny California all the time, I am not sure how they fare in a place where sunshine is seen once in a blue moon. Vice versa, if a person’s skin burns every time a sun ray touches them, I would not recommend they go to a university where it is sunny all the time.
Students: For most teenagers, fitting in is always a problem. I would prefer to pick a school where I both fit in and can witness many people from different walks of life.
These are just some of the factors I use to narrow down my schools. But after reading an infinite amount of reviews on college prowler about different schools, I realized that no one is going to deliberately say anything negative about their college. Of course, I see the occasional negative comment or review, but for the most part students are willing to defend their university and stand by it. Truth is after a couple months or so at a school, I am not going to hate it. I’ll get used to the negative portions and fall in love with the school because of the positives. College is what you make of it. After all, what is college but a bunch of buildings right?
Around the end of February, I went to India for a wedding. My cousin (my mom’s nephew) was getting married. When I was there, I was able to spend time with my extended family. These are people that I only get to see once in four years. I felt loved and cared for whenever I was around them. When it came time for my family and I to return to America, I was pretty depressed. I knew I would miss my relatives a lot. At that point I almost considered moving to India I decided to think practically about the pros and cons of living in America or India.
- I would always be able to visit my relatives
- Everything is super cheap (Got to love foreign exchange rates)
- I could get to know my teenage cousins better
- People are more involved in each other lives, feels like more of a community
- Mosquitos, mosquitos and mosquitos
- Incredibly dusty and unhygienic
- The bathrooms are disgusting
- I probably would not fit in at school
- No more variety of food ( I would primarily have to eat Indian food and all the fast foods there are Indian based)
- No more wearing authentic American clothing
- Very clean
- Good quality products and food
- All my friends are here
- I would be able to have a culturally diverse environment.
- Products are expensive here
- A sense of loneliness
Needless to say I chose America over India. In a perfect world I could still live in America’s environment, but with all my relatives living here. It’s fun visiting India, but by the end of the trip there’s no place like home.
“The INDIA Lobby and US Foreign Policy.” The Langar Hall The INDIA Lobby and US Foreign Policy Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
Every year at least one college will ask as their personal statement “Why do you want to go into your major?” or “Tell us about your future plans” or something along those lines. My first thought when I used to read those prompts was “I don’t know..” Thankfully I finished writing/bullshitting my personal statements a while back. But the prompts always made me wonder what normal teenage kid knows what they are going to be doing ten years from now? There’s always the athletes and geniuses who know they want to go to the Olympics or find the cure for cancer. But for the vast majority of teenagers, the future is a mystery. Nonetheless society deems it necessary for teenagers to at least have an idea of what they are going to do, so they resort to the Three Ps to pick a career: parents, pay or passion.
The first P is for parents. They provide us with food,shelter and unconditional love. It is no question that parents should help when picking a career. The problem is with strict or overbearing parents that pick the career for their child. While they have their child’s best interests at heart the career might not be right one. Parents mostly think in terms of which careers will give their kids the highest salary. This is commonly seen in Asian cultures where a career in medicine or engineering is revered. What commonly happens is a teenager will just go along with what their parents say either because their parents are incredibly strict or they don’t have any other career in mind. It is important that the decision to make a career is mostly the teenager’s.
The second P is for pay. It may seem superficial but most high schoolers want to live a luxurious life when they are older, so many teenagers (and parents) pick a career that is lucrative. The issue isn’t picking a career that gives a six figure salary. It is underestimating the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to make a six figure salary, and many jobs don’t have a starting salary of 100K. Also just looking at the salary of a job isn’t the best idea for picking something that you’re probably going to do for the rest of your life.
The third P is passion. This is by far the best reason to pick a career. Why not do what you love and get paid for it? I have rarely seen teenagers pick a career and say they picked it because it is their passion. The problem might be that they aren’t sure of what is their passion yet. I guess that’s why college is an important milestone. It is where someone can figure out what they want to do for the rest of their lives. But is important to make sure that a career with your passion is possible. If you love to sell VCRs you may not make the best living.
Truthfully, the careers we pick now probably won’t be what we want in the future. Ten years is a lot of time for change and discovering who we are. We can all just hope that in the end we get a career that we love and provides a great salary.
Davis, Sarah. “How Do You Pick a Career Path? | College and Career Blog – from Westwood College.” How Do You Pick a Career Path? | College and Career Blog – from Westwood College. N.p., 22 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Jan. 2013.