Is That Your Final Answer?

Casey Miller, Editor in Chief

“Hey, do you know where you’re going to college?”

Seniors, raise your hands if you’ve heard this within the past month. Okay, now raise your hands if you heard it today. One, two, three hundred and twelve… that’s everyone!

It’s February, and that means all the athletes, community college, and early decision students have their plans set for next year, making the rest of us look like we turned in our applications late.

I actually finished my apps in October (to current juniors: a highly recommended strategy) and heard from all of colleges before Christmas, as I did not apply to any University of California schools. Another helpful trick: I applied non-binding early action to any schools that gave me the option.

But now I must make the final choice. Fortunately, I am able to visit almost all of my prospective campuses before locking in the next four years of my life. This week I am taking the last of my college visits. Frigid Indiana will wrap up my college quest. By Sunday, I will have made what many say is a “life changing” decision.

Unfortunately, I have a few more days of harassment to tolerate however. My whole family is suffering from the college decision disease. My brother is asked by his middle school buddies, “So is your sister gonna be a Duck? Or a Bronco? Or a Hoosier?” My mother’s friends like to give their input about which of the colleges ranks highest on Forbes, USA Today, Newsweek, or wherever the celebrities in People Magazine received their education. Did you know Brad Pitt went to Mizzou? And get this: he actually studied journalism!

I am the eldest of about 30 cousins altogether, so my entire family on both my mom and dad’s side is invested in this decision, naturally. My grandparents give their honest opinions, while my aunts and uncles like to ask me what I did to get accepted to certain colleges. They know I don’t have that 4.o.

Even around friends, who are equally tired of The Big Question, college is still a common topic. It’s unavoidable, as the worth of our entire high school life seemingly hinges upon it.

I have one friend who is so concerned about finding a roommate online, that she spent hours selecting a profile picture that conveys who she supposedly wants to be in college. Quite honestly, I can see where she’s coming from. The struggle to find a roommate will be legitimate. There are just so many ways it could go wrong.

I struggle to maintain a sense of independence in my choice. One of my top schools has the reputation of being a Lamorinda “safety school,” yet its journalism program is one of the best in the country. I must remind myself that it’s my decision to make, not my peers.

If you are as tired as I am of being hit up with The Big Question, I offer you these sarcastic responses:

  • I’m taking time off to get my scuba diving certification in Fiji. I don’t know when I’ll be back.
  • I’m going to the South Harmon Institute of Technology.
  • I’ve decided a six-year Clown College program is what’s best for me.
  • I’m going to dedicate my time to mastering chess and working my way up to be the best in the world.