March 23, 2014

Post #3661 – 20140323

My son is graduating from high school in a few months. He is in the throes of deciding which college to attend. We are curious how you decided on the college you attended.

Best wishes,

Daniel replies:

I was already sure what sort of person I hoped to be, and what style of living appealed to me.  In my case that meant artistic, non-mainstream, beatnik-ish, bohemian. I didn't have a clear idea of what in particular I hoped to learn or do, so I could not choose a college that was strong in a particular department or area.  All I knew was that I wanted to be a bearded weirdo, and pursue subjects like Zen Buddhism, clay modeling and obscure poets. I heard about a college where that would not describe the interests of a few people on the fringe, but the whole place. So I applied there.  It turned out to be the right college for me.  If I had gone to the state university, my only other choice, I would have wasted my time rebelling against the status quo--at the college I went to there was nothing to rebel against. I also applied to a big fancy famous eastern university--they were kind of intrigued, had me back for interviews three times, and finally told me, """"Sorry, you're just too weird a kid for us."""" If I were applying to college today, I am certain I would choose a local two-year junior or community college to save expense and get required courses out of the way, and transfer to a four-year college when I knew more about what I wanted to study.