YOUNG VOICES: Grads, your opportunities in college are up to you

2014-04-21T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Grads, your opportunities in college are up to youBy Sam Beishuizen nwitimes.com
April 21, 2014 12:00 am  • 

With April coming to a close and May rolling in, I am assured of two things across high schools throughout the region: Unfortunate amounts of rain whenever I head out to the golf course and high school seniors panicking about college.

Yes, now is about the time where soon-to-be high school graduates realize the real world is quickly approaching. Doubt is going to slowly creep into the minds of the senior students now kicking themselves for not finalizing their post-high school choices yet.

I don’t want to preach because I was the same way. But a word of advice to all the kids worried about making the right college decision — relax.

I was in your shoes last year. At this point I was still in denial that I was inevitably going to attend Indiana University. There is nothing really wrong with IU — it’s a great school — but it wasn’t the exotic dream school I had originally aspired to attend.

IU was not my dream school I felt I would go to and forge my own path. In fact, it seemed as though most of my Crown Point class of 2013 was going to be in luck because all the red clothes they bought in high school could easily pass for “Crimson” in Bloomington.

But I have news for you that even I wouldn't have believed last year.

It isn’t that bad. You will be fine wherever you choose to attend school.

If there is one thing I have learned from my time at IU, it’s that you control what you get out of school. It doesn't matter if it’s Harvard or a local community college, IU or Purdue. There are opportunities wherever you decide to either work or attend school or trade school.

Between trying to figure out which major you want (which you’ll likely change), if you can afford the tuition of the school you got into and whether you really want to room with the kid you've agreed to live with, there’s going to be some worrying.

In the middle of all of this panic and questioning, I think it’s imperative to try to simplify things. Figure out what is important to you. Whether it be being close to home, affordability or the important of a dream school, weigh all your options.

The most important question to ask yourself is, “Will I really be happier and a better student at Dream School University compared to Second Choice State?”

It’s incredibly important to determine this by yourself. Lean on other people who you trust for advice, but when it is all said and done, you’re the one who is going to be living with your choice. Mom and Dad might think one thing and friends are going to think another, but they aren't the one who needs to go to class.

It’s your life. It’s your choice. Own it and don’t panic.

No matter what school you go to, you’re going to have opportunities. You’re going to have the chance to do amazing things. Most importantly, you’re going to be able to have fun.

So relax. No matter where you inevitably send that down payment, remember, you can find yourself at home wherever it is.

Even if it is Second Choice State.

Sam Beishuizen, of Crown Point, is a freshman at Indiana University in Bloomington. The opinions are the writer's.

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