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I spent far too much time in high school worrying about whether I would get into an Ivy League school. I felt horrible the first time I received a B on my report card. I felt I wouldn’t be successful unless I went to a great school. I wouldn’t be able to make the money I wanted to make, I wouldn’t have the opportunities, and I wouldn’t have a great life. By the time I graduated I knew Ivy League was out of reach, so I went to the University of Oregon. I was disappointed to not achieve that dream, so I set my sights on an Ivy League law school. I have recently decided I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore, so I will never attend an Ivy League school. I finally figured out something though. My golden ticket to a wonderful life doesn’t lie in an Ivy League school– it lies in me.
I think that the most important decision is to go to college. Go to any college, because it matters more if you go to college and it matters less which one you go to. You are likely to have a higher earning paycheck and a better life if you attend college. The statistics seem to agree on this, but which college you attend doesn’t make a huge difference in quality of life. The difference it will make in your life most likely will relate to where it is located, if you like the school, the students and other factors. You should find a school that you like, not one that you think will make you the most money. You have to spend four years there, so if you enjoy it then you will do better.
There are some good qualities in an Ivy League school
I will admit that Ivy League schools do have some qualities that make it beneficial to attend them. They provide you with a lot of potential connections that might be useful one day. You will get contacts everywhere though and sometimes they might be better. You are more likely to have a larger amount of special events in an Ivy League school that could benefit you. Top lectures will go to Ivy League schools; you might get to meet some very important people. Who wouldn’t want Steve Jobs to talk at their (Stanford) commencement? The school will have more money, because the school is a business. It has to make money and it does a great job at it. There are a few times that an Ivy League on your resume will give you a foot in the door, but the important part is that your abilities are the thing that gets you the job, not the school. It can give you a small boost, but it is what you make of it.
Where do Nobel Laureates go to school?
The last 10 Nobel laureates in Chemistry attended University of Nebraska, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Berea College, Augsburg College, University of Massachusetts, Washington State University, University of Florida, University of California, Riverside, and Harvard University. As you can see Harvard appears twice which makes sense since they get to pick from the elite individuals in the country. However, these are not all Ivy League schools. It shows that genius can come from anywhere. It depends on the individual more. Another example the WSJ compares the top CEOs of the biggest corporations. “Most CEOs of the biggest corporations didn’t attend Ivy League or other highly selective colleges. They went to state universities, big and small, or to less-known private colleges.Wal-Mart Stores CEO H. Lee Scott, for example, went to Pittsburg State University in Kansas, Intel CEO Paul Otellini to University of San Francisco and Costco Wholesale CEO James Sinegal to San Diego City College.”
The individual is the one that succeeds
Those that do succeed in Harvard and do make a lot of money did it because they have the ability to succeed. They were selected because they showed they had the drive to succeed. The question is would they have still be successful if they hadn’t gone to Harvard? Some people just have the ability to do great things no matter where they go. You would be able to find extraordinary people in any university, because they choose to succeed. So, if you really want a golden ticket to your life then take advantage of your opportunities and have a drive because that is what will set you apart from the rest. Your ability will be far more important than the school you attend.
Current high school students:
Don’t worry about the school you get into. You can make the best out of any situation. I know people that will try to challenge themselves in a simple class because they want to do the best they can. There was a student in my literature class last term that chose to do an essay on a book because the professor warned us that it would difficult to read. He didn’t try to take the easy way out; instead he did what would challenge him in order to get better. You don’t need Harvard to challenge you; there are many opportunities for you at any university. Go above and beyond the expectations. Don’t take the easy way. Finally, don’t worry about getting into the best school. It caused me tons of stress in high school, but now that I have gone to the University of Oregon those grades really don’t matter. I worked hard for my high GPA, yet it doesn’t matter now that I have gotten into the university. They didn’t get me a scholarship; they didn’t get me into an Ivy League school. The one good thing they did was prepare me for college. I didn’t struggle the first term, instead I earned all ‘A’s. Don’t worry about the college you go to, worry about the challenges you will take in college.
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