Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 23 - Something You Wish You Had Done in Your Life

When I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I was dating a boy who I "loved."  He was my first love and I used quotation marks because I didn't know what love was then and I think very few people do.  I was 17 at the time.  Although I was smart enough to know not to completely tailor my life plans around him, I still made college choices based on staying close to home.  I applied to UCSD, UCLA, and the University of Arizona, although the last was only to please my parents who were both alums.  I had my mind made up that I'd go to UCLA, which was only 45 minutes from my home (on a good commute day, that is).  I'm sure you're not surprised to read that he dumped me by December of my senior year, after I'd already sent off my applications.

I don't regret going to UCLA and I loved my experience there.  It actually turned out for the best, since my mother died my second year of college.  I was able to come back home on weekends as much as possible during her last few months, and when I got the call I was able to have a friend drive me straight home.  My third and fourth years I was able to live at home with my dad (who was alone at that point, since my brother had left for college) and commute to school.  That would not have been possible if I'd gone to college further away.

While everything worked out for the best, I've always wondered if there were other prestigious universities that I could've been accepted into or attended, or if I would've found a school that was a better fit for me elsewhere.  To help put things into perspective, you need a little background info on where I went to high school.  My school was a college magnet school - you tested to get into it and if you didn't maintain a GPA above 2.5, you were sent back to your home school.  Numerous friends from my HS went on to the Ivies, Stanford, UPENN, etc, and became lawyers, doctors, as well as teachers.  My brother's an alum and went to Cornell where he got his degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.  It was a very competitive atmosphere that encouraged you to be the best.  I don't look down on UCLA (hardly) and it's definitely become increasingly more difficult to get into, but my morbid curiosity makes me wonder if I could've gotten into some of the biggies.  :)

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