Prestige Isn’t The Only Important Thing When Deciding A College
For many high school students, attending prestigious universities such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton is the ultimate dream, the end goal, the best way to ensure happiness and success. After joining numerous clubs they don’t care about and spending more time on SAT prep than with their family, why wouldn’t they attend the most prestigious college they could possibly get into.
Because despite what society tries to tell us, just because your college is prestigious, doesn’t mean you will automatically thrive there. I know multiple students at colleges such as MIT and Yale who are miserable.
If you hate hot weather so much it makes you gloomy, maybe consider not going to Stanford, even if you got in despite the extremely low acceptance rate. If you can’t stand the city, why would you attend NYU? You’re going to be living near your college for four years, and your life should be more than just school, which means you have to consider more than just the school when choosing it. Would you find people to fit in with socially? Do you like the surrounding area?
When visiting a college you might attend, really envision yourself there. Imagine yourself taking a walk outside as the sun rises; imagine yourself eating in the dining halls, studying in the library. Imagine yourself happy. If you can’t, it’s not the right place.
Peoples’ desire to prove themselves by attending highly-ranked colleges is understandable, of course. Unfortunately, society often will somewhat judge you based on your alma mater. But why does it matter? Ultimately, this is your life, and one of your biggest priorities should be to live happily — because you only get this one chance.
Don’t sacrifice your happiness just so you can say “I went to Harvard”.