The Name Of A College Shouldn't Matter

The Name Of A College Shouldn't Matter


Based on an article I wrote for the high school news publication, The LJHS Hi-Tide, published on April 6th, 2015.

During the fall and winter season, many high school seniors are bogging down and finishing their college applications. After the months of waiting, they huddle around their laptop screens and wait outside their mailboxes, anxiously waiting to see what they have been waiting for all year: college acceptance letters. It can be the most pivotal moment for seniors in their high school careers. But the fear of having college of their dreams turn them down or even worse, get accepted into colleges or universities without a big name, looms over many high school seniors when the time comes. Students think that not getting into a well-known college will negatively affect their future and will be judged because of it. This raises an important question for all high school seniors: does it actually matter what college or university you end up at?

To make it short and sweet, I don’t think it does at all. Don’t get me wrong, getting accepted into an Ivy League school or a well-known college or university is fantastic, but let’s face a fact: not everyone that applies to Stanford gets into Stanford (their acceptance rate this year was 4.6%), same as any other school. For high school seniors, they really don’t know if they are going to end up at their top choice school or at any schools they applied to, even if they are 99.9% sure they are going to get in. I am fortunate to have been accepted and attending one of the top schools I applied to, but for other seniors’ my year, in the past, and in the future, who only got or will get into the schools’ people do not know about or would just brush off, how do you think they feel? Those seniors were or are probably scared and wonder what people will say or how they will be viewed if they go to that school. But it doesn’t matter at all about what college they go to. What matters is what they do where they are at and what they accomplish after college. Success in the next 20 years from now will not be based on what university they went to after high school, but what they have been able to do from going to that university.

I’m pretty sure they are high school seniors who think that going into an Ivy League college will make them viewed as the top student with the brightest future, and not getting accepted would be social suicide. If people have told you this or think this, they are 100% wrong. Former Yale English professor William Dereiewicz explained in an interview with Quartz his essay on how Ivy League schools have given misconceptions to many students, thinking they will surely succeed if they go there, saying, “… it’s Harvard or the gutter: If you don’t get into Harvard, Yale or Princeton, it’s a disgrace. If you go to Wesleyan, you can never show your face in public again. This is not really the only way to succeed, but this crazy definition not only of success, but of how you achieve success, doesn’t even really reflect how actually successful people achieve success.”

Success is, therefore, derived from someone’s motivation to succeed, regardless of what school you go to. We have Steven Spielberg, one of the greatest film directors of all time. After high school, the mastermind behind films applied to both UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television and the University of Southern California's School of Cinema and Television but did not get accepted to either school, so he went to California State University, Long Beach and got his first job as an unpaid intern at Universal Studios. Since going to the small school, he has created some of the best films of all time. Next, there is Walt Disney. Walt Disney went to McKinley High School and attended the Academy of Fine Art’s at night to refine his drawing skills and later decided to pursue a career in the commercial art industry, starting his rise to fame with a drawing pad and a mouse. And to highlight a local star from my hometown in San Diego, there is Ralph Rubio, the founder and owner of the restaurant chain Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill. Going to the low recognized San Diego State University back in the day, him and his friends came up with the idea of opening a taco stand in San Diego. The small taco stand has now become a huge franchise, having restaurants all over the West Coast. Those three men, who only went to small schools and community colleges, are some of the most well-known and successful men in their different industries, and they did not go to big-name schools.

In the end, ultimate success is not shown from where you go to college or where you are at in college. Getting into any college is only a minor battle in high school; the real battle occurs when you are immersed into the real world, into a university where it is every person for themselves. It is there that determination and perseverance are the keys to success. You can get into any college or university if you put on a good show, but that won’t matter at all if you do not use what is given to you for your own advantage. So, to all the seniors reading who are going away on their college applications, or to the underclassmen in high school who are unsure if they will get the grades for that Ivy League school, go to a school you know you will succeed in and you want to succeed in, even if it is a school that can be overlooked.

Cover Image Credit: Ivy Style

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.


So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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