College Seems Like the Only Choice

College has grown to become a mandatory process for students to undergo, even when that should not be the case.


This is Rosie Fawzi, who is graduating a semester early. She applied to NYU, Columbia, Fordham, Pace, Temple, Marymount, and Syracuse. She plans to attend The New School and study journalism and design.

Lisa Senin, Staff Reporter

Senior Rosie Fawzi evaluates why going to college is stressed upon high school students and whether it’s worth the time and debt.

“I think that the culture we are surrounded by in today’s world and economy enforces competition, and when competition is enforced, it makes sense that kids would want to rush to financial success,” Fawzi said.

It’s always been instilled in our heads that students should be going to college.

When we were younger, before it became the time to start thinking and applying to colleges, before guidance counselors and teachers were talking about it, college had always been at the forefront of our academic journey.

“When we see college as the safest route for financial success, that, of course, would pressure young kids to go to college right after high school,” Fawzi said.

In our minds, we automatically thought, ‘I will be going to college, I will start the application process at some point.”

That just is how the course of education is expected to go. It’s unspoken and it’s simply presumed.

“I think my parents started researching for me before I started researching,” Fawzi said.

Rosie Fawzi on the Common App website; “Some schools ask you ‘why us?’ on their application. It’s hard to think of an answer because people aren’t going to college out of genuine interest.

“I feel that college is an unfair system, and knowing it’s an unfair system, maybe I’m a hypocrite for wanting to apply or to go.”

However, that’s understandable. There’s an appeal to college because of its identifying aspects, especially those of prestigious institutions (e.g. Harvard).

That’s where the aspect of competitiveness comes into play.

If you were to go to a community college you probably won’t showcase it as much in comparison to if you were to go to an Ivy League college.

Rosie’s mother, Mary Kay, provided additional insight.

“I definitely wanted to apply to college. I applied to several colleges. That was the general plan. My parents didn’t tell me to go to college, they just expected me to apply,” Kay said.

It seems logical to apply to more than one college. And, it seems logical to apply to colleges that you feel would accept you, even if you don’t necessarily want to attend them.

In a way, that’s putting college on a pedestal. You’re prioritizing going to college more than getting an education that’s desirable to you.

“I applied to a college in Virginia because my boyfriend went to a very close college nearby,” Kay said.

She didn’t apply to her college out of interest in the education they provide.

It seems that we are guided towards applying to college.

Yet overall, it seems like college is something we are herded towards, just because it’s what everyone else is doing.