Embracing college realities


Elijah Pacis

If students cannot attend their desired school, they can attend a different college first, then transfer later in their college career. For example, Georgia Technical Institute (Georgia Tech) accepted just below 40% and 20% of Georgian and non-Georgian applicants respectively in 2020. On the other hand, the college accepted 53% of Georgia resident transfers and 31% of non-Georgia residents. So an option exists where one could attend Kennesaw State University (KSU) at first, then transfer into Georgia Tech later on.

Elijah Pacis, Sports editor

College offers an opportunity to explore desires and interests, build new relationships and pursue a future career. While students embrace different aspects of college life, losing focus on their classes, major, and eventual graduation can lead to dropping out and turning the page before they can enjoy the benefits of college.

“In terms of dos and don’ts, you have to learn how to prioritize different tasks depending on their importance. It’s your responsibility to keep up with your classes, so even if nobody is actively forcing you, it is important to keep up with going to class and not putting off work so you don’t fall behind,” Georgia Technical Institute freshman Daniel Manuel said.

Newfound independence requires a sense of responsibility and a healthy balance of work and play to maximize productivity and happiness. The risk of underweight productivity appears frequently throughout life on campus, especially at party schools. One can commit the opposite at a rigorous university including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. This distinction influences what students aim to attend certain schools, with specific groups choosing a party school over a rigorous school and vice versa. 

Failing to understand how much time one can put towards either work or play will lead to health issues overall. Up to 44% of college students show signs of depression and anxiety, and suicide acts as the third-leading cause of death in college students. Nearly two-thirds of students who develop substance abuse problems also exhibit mental health disorders.

“Don’t sacrifice your health, both physically and mentally. Make sure you fit in time to eat and take care of yourself even if you are busy. Make sure you have time to relax and decompress every now and then. And don’t be afraid to reach out to resources that are at your disposal,” Manuel said.

Attending dream schools accompany high monthly costs and tuition fees. Several top institutions present tuition fees reaching far past the $50,000 mark. Then students must consider the cost of living in surrounding areas because cities that house colleges increase valuation immensely. While these reputable schools provide students with highly-valued connections and a uniquely elite college experience, the cost of living while enrolled can lead to student debt and financial strife later on. 

Students must occasionally face the possibility that their dream school lies out of reach, and must branch out towards cheaper alternatives. But certain nuances between what one would consider an elite school versus a less-reputable institution tend to matter less when students see clear goals. One could enroll in a less prestigious university to attend a certain program that best fits their interests, leading to a better outlook post-graduation. Regardless of the starting point, students can find opportunities anywhere to prove their mettle and create connections that will assist them later in life. 

“Enjoy it; it’s a fun experience. But remember what you came for and this path is the start of your life. Meet new friends, discover your interest, what makes you happy,” NC class of 2017 graduate Bea Flores said.