Regrets of the Journey to College

Last Friday, I graduated. Looking back, I realized that I sacrificed too many things to get into a good college and excel high school. If you are an underclassmen or junior right now, I hope you read on.

If I were in your shoes, I would have strived in high school differently. There are so many sacrifices we make to achieve entrance into our dream school, pride from our parents, and the diploma that in the end is just one scrap of paper. Here’s a list of my regrets: 1) I wish I did not sacrifice my body so much for academic success. After sitting in my study room for hours each day, I have developed back problems. Wherever I go, people tell me that I look camel-like. Today, my back is sore all over and my neck is bent in a different way than most others due to the position that I sat in when studying.

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If I could re-do high school, I would have taken more STUDY BREAKS and would have valued COMFORT in my room. I have also lost a significant amount of hair due to stress over the years. My shower drain has had a lot of fun collecting handfuls of hair per month. Do not sacrifice your physical well-being to get into Harvard.

It’s not worth it. 2) I wish I had put more time into my spiritual wellbeing. I wish I spent more time with my small groups fellowship and released stress through Christian get-togethers. I wish I could have acquired a peaceful state of mind in my schoolwork. For me, Christian bonding allows me to experience that constant peace.

3) I wish I did not sacrifice my social life for academic success. I wish I could have attended more movie nights, strolls in the park, and simple dinners. I could have grown closer to a wonderful group of people that I regret not knowing better. 4) I regret causing my family to skip vacations because of my academic activities. Due to SATs, AP tests, etc, my family cancelled many vacation plans.

I feel awful because my little sister, who is at the age in which she can have all the fun in the world before grades start to matter, did not experience Disney World or annual ski seasons. I feel so selfish. 5) I wish I did not freak out in my college application process. Due to stress, I messed up one application completely. I wish I took the entire process in a very calm manner and researched more.

I wish I had more confidence in who I was and did not get intimidated by the process. So, students… take everything with peace and diligence. Whether you are on the soccer field or are practicing for SAT, embrace your confidence, work hard like crazy, and keep a peaceful state of mind. Do not sacrifice the most important people and values of your life to get into a good school. In the end, I did not even get into my dream school, Cornell University, and wondered, “what was the point of sacrificing so much when I never achieved my goal?” Although USC did see my efforts, I know that I will approach academics and the graduate-school application process in a different way.

I will strive with a different attitude at SC. May peace be with you.