(this photo is me writing this post [not literally])
It’s taken me a while to compose my thoughts on this subject, and this post is still very jumbled, but I hope that you take the time to read it.
I always knew that the college admissions process would be sucky and dramatic, but I didn’t think it would so control my life as it has this year. Senior year is supposed to be fun (right?) and sort of like a last hurrah before you go off and begin the rest of your life (right?), but instead, it’s been depressing and overly emotional and extremely stressful.
I’m angry. Like, I’m steam-coming-out-of-my ears ANGRY. And I have been since December 20, 2013, when I had to turn down my offer of admission to my top school.
About two weeks earlier, I was accepted under early admission to Scripps College, a beautiful, idyllic women’s college in Claremont, CA. I was ecstatic, and immediately I posted a status on Facebook about my acceptance. A few short days later, however, I received a letter about the financial aid Scripps was offering me. (This is NOT meant to be a hate post against Scripps. I have nothing but love for that institution and would go there in a heartbeat if I could, but alas, that is not the case). As I opened the letter I prayed that the offer would be good. When I read the number, my heart dropped into my stomach. It was $10,000 per year, not bad, but it still meant my family would have to pay about $50,000 a year for my tuition, room, and board. My father said it was possible, but they would have to cut into savings and other things in order for me to go.
After days of deliberation, I decided that I couldn’t deal with the guilt that would come along with me going to Scripps – I couldn’t let my parents dip into their savings just so I could go to school in California. I declined my offer of admission, and spent the few weeks afterward eating too much chocolate ice cream and sobbing as I wrote supplements for other schools I didn’t know or care much about.
Do you know how shitty it feels to have to tell people who are congratulating you on your acceptance “hey, thanks, but turns out I can’t go because college costs so much”? It feels awful. And then you make the other person feel awkward, and it’s uncomfortable for both parties, and you wish you’d just been rejected because you could’ve avoided all this stress and sadness.
I’m okay now, but my future is still up in the air. I’ve been accepted to safety schools, which feels good, but I still don’t know about the schools I really care about. And even once I do find out, it will all come down to money. MONEY IS EVERYTHING IN THE AMERICAN COLLEGE WORLD. How messed up is that??? I’m just so angry!
Fortunately, I applied to a few Canadian schools and I got in, and university in Canada is so FREAKIN’ affordable, so I will be going to college somewhere. I wish that the United States would look to Canada (or literally almost any other country) for higher education models. Hate to break it to you, USA, but our system ISN’T WORKING. There are brilliant and talented young people all over this country who aren’t going to college because they CAN’T AFFORD IT. It makes me so upset.
Those of you struggling through this stupid college process, I feel for you, and I pray that you will be able to go where your heart desires. And if not, there’s always Canada!