Where do you stand academically?

You have been taught how to choose college – by figuring out where you stand in your preference between big and small, east and west, urban and rural, liberal and conservative, etc. Have you ever thought of figuring out where you stand among your future classmates in terms of academic knowledge, skills and habits?

It’s a fact that some students who are not academically brilliant somehow get into colleges full of the smartest people in the country / the continent / the world. They spend their college years struggling to compete with classmates of unmatchable caliber and are so academically overwhelmed that they have no life. Constantly comparing themselves with much better performing students, they get a lower and lower self-esteem. When time comes for them to apply for jobs, the prestigious brand names on their diplomas cannot compensate for their low grades and lack of extracurriculars. You should not be surprised, then, to see such college graduates working at fast-food restaurants.

What if they had opted for less selective colleges that  were the right ones for them? They could have found themselves in a caring and nurturing environment and received help to overcome their academic (and not only) weaknesses, or, at least, they could have had gained time to grow up [academically].

Succeeding there would have boosted their self-esteem, and they could have taken up leadership opportunities, which would have been easier as they would not have needed to elbow for them.

By graduation they could have piled a combination of high GPA and extra-curricular involvement that impresses employees despite the college name they see on a job applicant’s resume.

And they could have enjoyed their college experience emerging as confident people.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mariana on September 8, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Yes, that’s right. But isn’t it also right that the colleges which are less selective are able to offer less money?


  2. Well, that’s what I have been teaching you as a general rule, but every rule has its exceptions 🙂 You have a friend in a college that is not very selective, and it traditionally has been offering generous aid. Still, there are many colleges that really depend on the money students pay, so they are eager to accept and don’t offer aid.

    My point here is not about money, but about being prepared for the college in which you enroll. How about that?


  3. Posted by Mariana on September 9, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Yup, I see. It’s just that I have given up a couple of colleges I really liked and I thought I’d be prepared for just because they say they can offer very limited fin. aid to international students…like one half of the tuition cost. What’s the point of applying to those colleges then? 😦

    Hmm, I guess I’ll just have to keep on searching for more exceptions of the rule 😀


  4. Posted by Nikki on September 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Two thumbs up on every word written on this post here, Lyd!! 🙂


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