Doing What Is Right for You

If you are like most high school juniors, you are receiving countless letters from colleges in the mail every day. For me, this started happening about a month ago. One day some letters came and ever since then I get at least three a day. All these letters pretty much say the same thing: "You show great potential and are accomplished, motivated and unique. We are so thrilled to contact you... etc." Then, they have a website to go to take a quiz about if such and such college is right for you.

If each letter says the same thing, how do I know that they are sincere? These letters I assume are just mass produced and sent out to thousands of high schoolers. These letters make me feel nothing more than just any average student. When it comes fall, I'll be applying to colleges. Though I am not a fan of high school, I feel that it is a comfort zone. It's the same monotonous routine for four years but at least I know what to expect. College signals a new chapter in my life. That excites and terrifies me at the same time.

For starters, I have no idea where I want to go let alone what I want to major in. I am probably the most indecisive person. I think it is ridiculous that 18 year-olds are being asked to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. There are some kids who have their whole lives planned out but that isn't me. Recently, someone asked me where do you picture yourself in 10 years? And honestly, to tell you the truth, I have no idea. But that's not a bad thing. I truly believe that part of the excitement that comes with life is figuring out stuff like this as you go along. Life is a big adventure; you may have a map but there will always be obstacles to overcome which makes the journey worthwhile. When it comes to colleges, I feel the same way.

The word passion is often heard when discussing college majors. But what if I don't have a passion, what if I am just average and don't stand out from the rest of the crowd? This relates to the issue of never feeling like you are good enough. I was recently looking at the classes that one of my friends is taking next year and every single one is an AP. If there was AP gym, she would most likely take it. Don't let things like this get you down. Everyone is different, and you know what? Her senior year will be hell. If that's who you are and you know you can handle that stress, go for it. But in my opinion why put yourself through that? Taking a whole schedule full of APs and Honor courses doesn't make you any better than the next person. Sure, it might get you into more selective colleges, but so what? As long as you're happy that's all that counts. This is crucial to take into consideration when it comes to applying for colleges and the stress that comes along with it. You can't live your life comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone better than you and that is just a fact one must accept.

Additionally, it is also important to take classes that you WANT to take. Don't let certain college admission requirements rule your high school schedule. Next week I will be registering for my senior classes and I am still uncertain of what classes to take. Do I take a hard AP class because it will look good for colleges or take a class that actually interests me? It's a tough decision. But try your best to take classes for yourself. Don't feel pressured to impress your peers by taking the hardest classes offered.

Here is some food for thought to end with:

It is hard to think about growing up when you're right in the middle of doing it. It's hard to know what you want. Sometimes there are so many voices in your head it's difficult to know which of them is yours.

-- Kevin Brooks

I find that this quote sums up how it feels to be a teen. A lot of the time we don't know what is right for us. We are force fed opinions from our parents, friends, counselors, teachers and the media. It is so difficult to find out who you truly are when you can't figure out which opinion is yours. But in the end go with your instinct. Do what makes YOU genuinely happy -- not your friends, family, teachers or anyone else.