College search and stress finally come to an end

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As May 1st, also known as the international pick your college day, recently flew past on the calendar, with sweet satisfaction I was officially able to declare my college search closed
I will soon trade in my CHS orange and blue for my new cardinal red and shimmering gold as I make my way to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
However, the road to this decision has been much longer than I could have ever anticipated.
I have put more time, energy, thought, travel and even tears into my decision, than I have any other decision in my life.
In fact over the past 18 months, I have filled out 10 college applications, written 25 separate essays, visited 17 colleges in 12 different cities in two separate countries, taken 10 different standardized tests and been in the counseling office more times than I would like to admit to, I stopped keeping count a while ago anyways.
While it is easy to quantify some of this process, it will remain impossible to capture the number of hours I have spent furiously talking about, thinking about, and worrying about college. And I can never forget the scores of phone calls, numerous emergency family meetings and the countless sleepless nights pondering my future.
At times, there have been almost no brain cells left to think about anything else.
As the college process slowly but surely swallowed what seemed to be my entire life, I often began to believe that this was the most important decision I would ever make.
The colleges I was admitted to and the one I finally chose would determine my destiny. My potential to be successful, what jobs I will be able to get, and the chance I will achieve my dreams, whatever they may be (I’m still undecided), are hinged all on how good of a university I attend.My college decision had morphed into something more like the one thing that will determine the rest of my life decision.
And when the admission letters came in and all of the factors were being weighed, academics, money, location and prestige (yes I considered that), the one factor I looked at the most was “ how will this college determine the rest of my life.”
As it began to look as if I was going to be pressured to pick USC because of a scholarship I had received there, over several other schools that I had determined would yield a better future for me–a profound realization hit me square between the eyes:
College is only four years.
Sure, it is inevitable that where I go to college, the city I live in, the people I meet, the teachers I learn from, will have an influence on my life. However, contrary to my own previous belief, and to that of many CHS students, where I go to college will not determine my entire life.
My future will be determined on what I chose to do in college, who I decide to make friends with and how hard I work. As long as I fuel my ambition, it really doesn’t matter where I go to college, or at least I hope so.
Indeed, the college decision process is important, but not nearly as important as it might seem.
With greyhound pride – fight  on!

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