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Thousand Oaks High School

College: 151 days of oblivion

April 12, 2017

151 days. 151 days of toxic stress, immense self-deprecation, and an eerie sense of anticipation that leaves you with sleepless nights and a loud mind (a mind that often acts as a burden when you’re trying to fulfill your silver lining senior year). The thing is, I feel like I’m not alone. We all carry this sense of worry and hopelessness, yet it all hits us at different times and in different ways.

I have been granted the gift of unspoken wisdom by my English teacher, whom I consider to be more of a fairy-god (father) from the tale “Cinderella,” despite the unprogressive plot line of needing a man to live a moderately happy life, but hey that’s beside the point. Most teachers’ talk about college and it definitely helps, but he made my peers and I not feel alone. He made us realize that college doesn’t define us, and a need for an Ivy League title is not important as we make it out to be.

My question is why do we care so much? Well it is based simply on the three-step system, a system I have been a bystander to my whole life. The system goes as follows:

1. Societal views
2. Your parents views
3. Your views

This may seem incredibly simple, and nearly juvenile, yet if you think about it we haven’t been head over heels for these colleges our whole lives. However, it has slowly been engraved in our brains as we’ve evolved to Barbie wearing a T-Shirt with Harvard letters screaming in your face, or the fact that every novel, book, movie, short story, etc. depicts an intelligent human being based merely on where they went to college.

Where you go does not define your intellect and it definitely does not define you. (And as the Cure said, “I tried to laugh about it, hiding the tears in my eyes, cause [girls] don’t cry.”)

April 18, 2017

I’m sitting in English class, caught in a dream of my own future. Sweating hands and crowded thoughts– I’ve made the “decision.” The day that I would achieve some sort of closure about my intellectual future has deemed fictional among the voices in my mind, yet this undetermined notion has become a reality.

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of distanced decisions and a series of absolute oblivion, but they also gave me a sense of what college should be. Throughout my whole life, I’ve been drowning in the conception that I must attend and Ivy League or a UC to gain some sort of merit among my peers and society.

However, I have realized that this “decision” is harnessed by you and what you want, and not that of others. I’m excited. I’ve never been so anxiously awaiting the future– excited about something so unknown. Most of my classmates have made their choices, yet they don’t seem to feel a sense of refreshment. That feeling you get when you take a sip of that incredibly carbonated sprite after a long day of Disneyland, or the day you finally fulfill the wish you have been awaiting for. It’s as if the ring around their finger was the wrong choice or decision made by their societal awareness of what college is. Don’t get me wrong, many seem excited about what the future awaits, yet many seem smothered by what Forbes Top 20 Colleges is listing.

It’s a confusing time for all of us, and I’ve felt lost for a while, yet I finally feel a sense of clarity, and a great deal of excitement, and that’s what college should be.

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