The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

    Higher powers will point to the right college decision

    It was supposed to be an easy decision—choosing a college. But it actually turned out to be a little complicated, and more of a nuisance than I had originally thought.

    Sure, I could have visited the schools before I applied to them. I could have read up on them more. I could have ranked them by preference before I even started to receive acceptance letters. But those things take time—time that could more easily be spent sleeping. Time that was more easily spent sleeping.

    So I sent applications to eight schools based on the most basic surface impressions of them, coupled with the insightful advice I gained from blogs, such as, “this school rocks,” followed by three exclamation points.

    The price I paid for not doing thorough research was dissatisfaction when I finally got around to visiting the schools: I established love/hate relationships with them, noticing qualities I liked and disliked about each one, none of which were shared.

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    I faced an important, life-changing (which made it even more unsolvable) decision: what did I value most? And I did not know the answer.

    If I say I value the prestige, am I doing it for an educational challenge, or, as my father refers to it, the sex appeal? If I choose a school with a more tranquil atmosphere, am I looking out for my personal needs, or chickening out of immersing myself in a more challenging environment? Should I allow a factor as trivial as the dorms influence my decision? Or are the decisions I considered trivial really vital to my personal growth?
    Nothing prepared me for this decision. I never before truly considered what I valued, nor had I ever put that much thought into life after I graduate from CHS.

    I made four pro/con T-charts for the schools. That did not work. I used a complex mathematical formula based on a priority ranking system. That did not work either—namely because it required me to come up with a priority ranking.

    May 1 was approaching fast, and I knew that I wanted to take time with my decision, to double check the integrity of the institutions I was considering, and to analyze the earnestness of the individuals I would be involved with. So I picked two schools and double deposited.
    When I say I tried everything to try to reach a decision, I mean I tried everything. I spun a Twister spinner with each color designating a different college. I flipped a penny.

    What I was searching for was a sign, such as spilling a drink that would form the letters of the school I was destined to attend. One person I know going to Emerson College factored into her decision how a song that had been stuck in her head was played during that school’s open house.
    Last year, another friend, hitherto set on attending a particular university, changed his mind after going to an overnight at his second choice school. What happened to change his mind? Was it an encounter with a particular professor? A club or organization? The academics? Close…but it was, in fact, a game of strip poker played in his dorm room.

    But since none of these signs occurred at any of my open houses, I had to resort to a more rational factor to influence my decision—my horoscope, which played an integral role in my college decision making process, as I am sure it has for everyone.

    I had pre-postmarked my enrollment deposit to New York University on May 1, but refrained from mailing it because I was shying away from the sheer size of the city and the expensive cost. Monday morning, when I had to decide whether to send the deposit off, I opened the Washington Post to read my horoscope: “Maybe you feel somewhat shy, but…if it makes your heart beat faster and you feel like running the other way, that’s a good sign. Run toward your fear and you’ll get over it.”

    It was as if Lifestyle columnist Holiday Mathis knew exactly what I was thinking! So I sent the deposit straight off.

    As of now, I am still finalizing my decision. I know some students are looking forward to college and the opportunity to finally free themselves from the reign of their parents. I, for one, have assured my mother that I will call her once a month wherever I go. Other students are more hesitant about leaving home and leaving friends. I find myself torn between the two. There are many things that I will miss when I leave for college.

    But, at the same time, college is a time for rebirth and discovery. And for those worrying about making friends, I have a foolproof way of starting things off grandly with your roommate. Simply fish through your bags, and ask if he/she has seen your gastrointestinal medication. Then tell your roommate that you look forward to spending the year with him/her, grab the seat of your pants with both hands and run to the bathroom.

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    Higher powers will point to the right college decision