Junior year of high school brings a copious amount of stress with it. With worry over SAT scores, AP courses, extracurricular activities and your GPA, the stress can be overwhelming. But where do all of these time consuming, effort inducing, and stressful activities lead to?
The answer is so we can go to a college we deem good. Except the truth to it all is, it doesn’t matter what college we go to.
As freshmen in college, all students have to take a basic set of curriculum. Some students don’t actually know or study their major until their third year of college. Why pay $30,000 per year to a college like Harvard, when you can pay $7,000 per year to a college such as Cal State East Bay that teaches the same subjects just as well?
That is spending over $90,000 for three years on what you can learn at another college for $21,000. The tuition price doesn’t change what the students are learning, they are learning the same material.
Why do we put these colleges on a pedestal? Maybe the answer isn’t the students, but the parents. Parents push their children to do well in school so that they can make a life for themselves as adults. There is lots of pride in parents when they see that their children are fully grown and independent. Now imagine that pride combined with a degree from an Ivy League college and a well-paying job; the bragging rights are enormous.
Why someone would spend a high school career striving to be the perfect candidate for Harvard University has always confused, yet enticed me. I still and will probably always be envious of someone who has gone or will go to an Ivy League college.
As for me, I see the experience of high school as something to enjoy. The friends you’re around, the teachers you meet, and what you learn are what really make high school enjoyable.
When students strive to be the perfect candidates for UCLA or UC San Diego, it can be backbreaking. Teenagers need sleep and nobody can stress that enough to adolescents. But when students are stressing and tiring themselves over AP courses, SAT scores, and homework, how can students sleep or enjoy their high school experiences?
When seeing the mentally and physically taxing classes and stress students experience, it makes me sure that it does not matter where you go to college. It matters whether or not people are happy with the people they’re around, the subjects they are studying, and the amount of sleep they get.
Finally, college is a new chapter in life. It is a place to learn and get a degree, while meeting new people and experiencing new things. The college we go to should be sculpted around these ideas, not because of what somebody says about one college or another.