I’m going to community college, and that’s okay

I applied to 10 schools total. I was rejected from 4, accepted at 2, and waitlisted at the remaining 4.

Last Friday I received the letter of financial assistance from the private college in Boston I was accepted at. They offered a scholarship and many grants but the rest of the expenses would have to be covered. After 4 years I’d essentially be $50,000 in debt, with 10 years to pay it all off. To top it off I live with a single mom who’s already paid for her two children’s Ivy League educations.

At first I was adamant on sending my SIR to the college and deal with the consequences later. I felt entitled. After all, I worked my ass off for the past 4 years and dealt with my fair share of crap at home. I took AP and honors courses. I volunteered as an underclassman, ran track for a bit, found my niche in journalism. I lost sleep, sometimes my sanity, and my social life. I loved learning, but the ultimate goal was to get out of here.

For the past week I’ve been presented with two extremes: go to school on the other side of the country and accumulate debt or dismiss my hard work in high school to stay home for 2 years and transfer someplace later. Meanwhile I offered words of reassurance to friends on the fence between this UC or that UC.

I romanticized Boston life and independence for a while. Then it sunk in bit by bit that I’d constantly be working to pay off loans. I would hardly be able to socialize if I was trying to save every penny. I would be studying constantly, focused solely on securing a job after graduation in order to pay off loans as well. True, I’d be surrounded by city lights and yes I would have abundant opportunities to see new places and faces. Ultimately, however, I’d be miserable.

I’ve been learning to trust my gut instincts lately, and it tells me that I won’t be able to come home at most 2 times per year.

On the other hand, if I were to stay in Sunnyvale for 2 years I’d be in the same state as the majority of people I care the most about. This was the major deciding factor in my final choice.

It’s been hard. Actually it aches like hell, but I’m steadily coming to terms with the fact that this is the practical decision that I will be happier with in the long run. I’m also looking forward to adventures with other amazing people who are also staying in the area :D. I’m just overjoyed at having a clearer vision of what I’m doing next. Life is good, and not having to care as much about finals or AP exams helps, too.

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