Opinion: There Is More to Life Than Academics

By Ella Marrufo

Sports Editor

Spend just one day on a high school campus and you will see students fraught with anxiety, pulling their hair out due to stress and wringing their sweaty hands as they frantically research their favorite university or make plans for tours. It does not matter the age — whether they are a wide-eyed, spirited freshman, or a venerable, learned senior, one thing is for certain: students worry far too much about where to go to college.

Consider this: a student works themselves to the bone all four years of high school. They have little to no social life and spend all of their time studying and cramming for that cherished 4.8 GPA. They do all of this in hopes of getting into their dream college, but what about when after the four years are up and they get rejected from said college? What was the point of the self-destruction, of the late nights and tears? This narrative is far more common than you can imagine. 

It is important for students to understand that where you go to college will not make or break your career, success, or determine how much money you will make later on in life. The Wall Street Journal released an article revealing the top 25 schools chosen by job recruiters: Pennsylvania State, Texas A&M, University of Illinois, Purdue, and Arizona State. All of these schools, while they are certainly respectable, are not Ivy Leagues. In my own life, almost all of the successful adults I know went to colleges similar to these, not six percent acceptance rate, impossible-to-get-into colleges. 

In the modern workplace it matters not what college you graduated from; instead the most important thing is having a high emotional intelligence (EQ) as opposed to a high IQ. My mother — a woman with a successful career and decades of experience — admitted to me that she rejected a Harvard graduate in favor of someone with a degree from a state college. It all came down to the EQ of the individual. The rejected Harvard grad was intelligent, but difficult to work with and was unwilling to collaborate. 

Another factor that matters more than where someone went to college is their work experience. At some point, if they have put countless hours into their respective profession and are good at it, they are simply the better choice over someone fresh out of college — Harvard or not. 

I hope in saying this I have alleviated stress for someone out there. It matters not what college you have gone to, or whether you acquire a public or private degree, but how you use what you have learned in school and apply these things to real life. Getting into college is not just another set of hurdles to jump over; it is a stepping stone to greater things, regardless of whether you go to a state college or an Ivy League.

(Sources: Washington Post, The Atlantic)

Categories: Opinion, Web Exclusive

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