by JASMINE ELSHAMY Editor-in-Chief
To my fellow seniors: we’re applying to college! Hooray, fun fun fun! Money, time, money, essays, money, SATs, money. As we go through this, the financial side of things has to remain in question.
I am sure you all think you know where you want to go to college next year. There are those of you who are staying close to home, probably paying much less than our friends who only want to go to college outside of the state because “I hate my family and I hate Monroe because everyone in Monroe is an imbecile and I literally can’t even so I’m going somewhere at least an hour and a half train ride away ‘kay thanks bye!”
Okay, so maybe there is a slight, teensy-weensy, tiny possibility that I am one of those people who may want to attend college outside of the state. Although, may I say, that I don’t think all Monroevians are imbeciles!
My dream school is the one and only New York University. NYU – the myth, the legend, the cash-eating machine. As literally NO ONE HAS LET ME FORGET, NYU costs a whopping $70,000 per year to attend! Buzzfeed even created a list of 29 private islands that cost less than a degree from NYU.
As you are thinking about attending that lovely, $70,000/year school that’s hours away from home, try asking yourself these questions:
Why are you going to college? Seriously, why? Is it because Mom and Dad never gave you another option? Do you love learning? Why?
Can you afford this price? Will your family be receiving financial aid, and/or will you be eligible for scholarships to help relieve the cost?
Why are you thinking of going to this specific college? You feel like you’re gonna network well because they have a good program for your ideal career? You really have to be in New York City? You love the sports culture? They have a reputation for having hot girls and you just can’t stand being around lame-os?
And for the most important question: do you have any clue what you want to do for the rest of your life? If you have literally no idea, if teaching and business and public health and medicine and science and politics gross you out, then you should probably take a step back from Boston College’s expensive doors.
After asking myself these very questions, I came to conclude that the following five points were true:
To get a job in most fields, you must have a degree. To get a really good job in most fields, you must either work really, really hard or have a degree from a really, really good school.
Going to college isn’t the only option, but it also kind of is the only option. You know exactly what I mean by that.
I won’t die if I don’t attend NYU, but there’s also something incredibly fulfilling about going to the school that your heart has been set on for a long time.
Being practical probably won’t make you happy, especially if you’re a dreamer. But it’s called being practical for a reason, and not swimming in debt and guilt at age 21 sounds kinda nice.
Getting an education is priceless. Education is the only way we are going to get humanity anywhere closer to where it needs to be. If you can afford an education like ones offered at NYU, Syracuse, and Boston University, great. If you can’t, that’s okay, too.
Just because you’re balling on a budget in the middle class like yours truly, remember that your education is what you make of it. Work hard, be humble, be open to learn, and absorb everything around you. This is your life, people! The next great opportunity could be right around the corner.
So, for a final piece of unqualified advice from a girl who will probably cry when she winds up having to attend anywhere other than her dream school, remember that attending college in California or New York or Boston is not going to make you a different or better person. People are still going to suck, and they are also still going to be pretty cool.
Do what makes you happy, and what doesn’t make your bank account cry.