How many perks does attending a university truly yield?

My+best+friend+and+I+touring+Loyola%2C+Chicagos+campus.+

My best friend and I touring Loyola, Chicago’s campus.

Opinions expressed in editorials on The Central Trend are the view of the individual writer and are not the opinion of the entire staff of The Central Trend or the Forest Hills Central staff or administration.

For most seniors in high school, Forest Hills especially, attending college is preached to be fundamental—fundamental for future successes.

We are bombarded with the idea that if we don’t go to a university, we won’t be as successful; we won’t get a job, won’t make enough yearly income, and most importantly, we won’t be happy. 

We are told that if we don’t maintain all As, we won’t be accepted into a school of our choice; therefore, we burn ourselves out with studying and committing our time to be in the classroom, when in reality, it’s not redeemable for much.”

From a high school senior’s perspective, I am expected to go to college by my parents, my teachers, my peers, and in all honesty, by myself. Since my first day of high school, the idea of college has been in the back of my mind, eating away at my tranquility. 

However, although college offers a great basis for opportunities regarding life after school, it is not a requirement to be successful.

I know a handful of people who never attended a university who are living lavishly. And they are happy. They are living happily without having a degree in Biology or Architecture. They are living happily knowing they did not need to go to secondary school to achieve a valuable lifestyle.

And this is not me discouraging the thought of going to college. College is an opportunity of a lifetime; it is experiencing independence, experiencing professors, two-hour-long lectures, and having sorority sisters who are there for life. College is a privilege, and it is something worth attending, nonetheless. Yet, despite all of the positives and experiences a university can bring, it’s not vital for prosperity. 

For example, there are people like Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world and CEO of Microsoft, who never attended a university. But then, there are people like multi-millionaire CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who did go to college—an Ivy League, to be particular. Zuckerberg went to Harvard University, and there, he created Facebook with the help of his friends and his connections through Harvard. So yes, college absolutely does have its benefits, but not every student needs to go to deem themselves successful.

Since day one, the high school community has preached that college isn’t a choice, but rather a requirement. We are told that if we don’t maintain all As, we won’t be accepted into a school of our choice; therefore, we burn ourselves out with studying and committing our time to be in the classroom, when in reality, it’s not redeemable for much.

But of course, I don’t want all of my hard work since middle school—striving for acceptable grades and building my resume—to be for nothing. I am going to go to college. It may not be the top university in the country or a school with a 10% acceptance rate, but that doesn’t matter. I am going to attend the college that calls out to me and me only. 

If college isn’t a question, it matters not which college a student attends, but which school they feel a connection to, one that they can spend the next four years breathing that campus’ air. And that is something every senior right now needs to remember.

So, go to college or don’t go to college. Regardless of where life after twelfth grade takes you, your success is based on your own willpower.