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By evilriv On 08/30/02  

Sheesh, it has completely crept up on me. I am 15, going into my senior year in high school, and already I hold in my hands applications to nyu and emerson. I am scared shitless. I only have like a 3.3 gpa and a 1260 sat score, so I don't think I'll get in, and if I do it will be on my writing alone. I want to major in experimental psychology, and am planning on taking a year off, because I don't want to enter college at 16. What I really want to do is join the peace corps, but you have to be 18. I am just venting, I have so much work to do this year. I get to take AP art history, and I have to do a senior culmination project, I'm doing propaganda and its affect on people especially since September 11th. I am sooo scared. I was talking with a friend about what we want to be "when we grow up" and we came to the grim realization that the time to decide that is in like a year. What should I do? I know that this is really vague, but I am scared shitless.

*edited to fix punctuation

By KittyFishsticks On 08/30/02  

Hi! My only advice to you is: don't stress too much about "what you want to be." People seem to think that once you get into college, you should know exactly what you want to do with your life, but that's just not true! I mean, kudos to the people who know exactly what they want, but most people aren't like that! That's the cool thing about college. You get to experiment and take all kids of interesting classes. Heck, how would I have known that I love geology so much if I had stuck to my art major boundries and not taken geology 101 on a whim? And in September I'll be taking psych 101, and who knows, maybe I'll decide to change my major after that.

I say go with what you're comfortable with, and don't rush yourself. You're about 3 years ahead of most people your age, so that makes you lucky. You have some extra time to go at your own pace, and decide what path you want to take.

I hope that helped, and that it wasn't too rambly! And by the way, your senior project sounds really interesting. Good luck with everything!


By est On 08/30/02  

EMERSON!!! Eeeek! I wanted to go there so badly! It was totally my top choice, I visited for a weekend, and I fell in love with the school and Boston. People there told me that I would definitely get in...I got like a 1150 on SAT, but apparently, the school's average at the time was about 1100. My grades were pretty good, and I had done TONS of journalism and theatre in high school. I was even the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper! I had the most clever application, and I really had my heart set on going there.

Of course, as fate would have it, they didn't accept me, and I was totally heart-broken for weeks. Not to sound conceited, but I really thought I would get in. Apparently, the year I applied was a really rough year. Their applications increased like 20%, so it was really competitive (or so I was told.) All of sudden, everyone and their mother wanted to go to Emerson. And I felt like everyone was going...except for me (sniff, sniff.)

As for NYU, 2 of my best friends go there, but I think the place is the root of all evil. It's way too expensive, and they don't give much aid, even to the people who really need it.

Choosing a college may seem like a really big deal when you're still in high school, but don't worry about it determining the rest of your life. I also felt like I had to know exactly wwhat I wanted to do with my life so I would know where to apply, but I think actually going to college is what helps you discover what you want to do. So many people change their minds and transfer to different schools, or take time off, or decide that school isn't for them and leave all together. It is a significant decision, and I'm not trying to undermine that. But in the long run, it's not going to adversly affect your entire existence. So don't worry, and just have fun visiting schools and deciding where you want to go.

By lottie On 08/30/02  

just seconding the "you don't actually have to know what you want to do in high school sentiment" anyone who tells you that is working through their own issues. the whole point of a liberal arts education is that you're going to experience different subjects, and by no means does your major have to influence what "career" you're going to have. how many people do you think get jobs where their knowledge of philosophy or victorina literature comes in to play on a daily basis?

By joyfulgirl On 08/30/02  

Honestly, I went to a really competitive prep school for high school, more expensive and prestigious than most universities (!!!), and they knocked it into my head time and time again (like pop culture and the media) that unless I got into a certain 12 schools, there was no hope for me to be sucessful. And it's sad, really. Because all my high school friends went to Brown and Yale and Harvard and Columbia and NYU and Stanford, etc, and they seem to have gotten the same exact education and college experience that I did at my university, which is the University of CA, San Diego, for a THIRD of the price and airfare. For almost all undergraduate programs, the criteria, professors, reading lists, student attention, etc, is identical. Apply where you realistically can afford, where you think you will be comfortable, and where you will be able to do the things that you want to do (like spend the day with your mother on her birthday, or go surfing, in my case). I got into Emerson, and I got a fatty scholarship that would have made the cost almost identical to UCSD, but I chose UCSD for the quality of living. And that has made all the difference.

It also allowed me the flexibility and economic capacity to study abroad for a year, which is something that I think made applying worthwhile (a friend of mine from high school got into the school of her dreams - Cornell - but had to graduate early and miss out on studying abroad in France because it was not financially possible to just enjoy being in college for 4 years).

Don't let anyone tell you that your career is determined by your university, or your worth as a person. Study what you enjoy, and if you are good at it, you will always be in demand.

By lindastar On 08/31/02  

my ma always told me that if i was going to be a star i would be a star anywhere (no matter where i go).

then she told me i couldn't apply to art school (too expensive, and she thought, too narrow). so i went to the university of texas at austin, and was sort of bitter but did well there.

this summer i moved to new york and signed up for a class at the school of visual arts, which, in highschool, i thought must be like the best place on earth to go to school. well, the facilities were shittier than UT's and i ended up dropping the class after 2 days cause it just didn't stand up to my expectations.

since then, i've met people who went to my percieved fabulous schools, and guess what? some of them still suck even tho they went to a brand name school. and some people at UT were awesome even though it is a state school (and a damn good one at that!).

so what i'm saying is, my mom was right. i think the most important things to consider are location (somewhere you want to live... which might be why i thought these NY schools were so fab-- they do have the NY thing going for them), with a program you want to do, and where the people seem decent.

and remember: you can always transfer if its horrible. nothing is forever.

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