College #001: Why I Turned Down Big Name Colleges

Let’s provide some context for the rest of the college series. I’ll talk a little bit about why I “settled” for SDSU and my resultant work/school/life balance.

Why Did I Choose SDSU?

My senior year of high school I applied to only 5 colleges because I was lazy to write more essays, it costed $100 an application, and I already knew realistically that I would have to stay home with my parents. I got accepted to all 5: UCSD, UCLA, UC Berkeley, CSUF, and SDSU. Though I can’t say for certain that I would have gotten accepted to bigger name schools (i.e. Stanford, NYU, Ivy League), but with a 5.0 GPA, a 4.77 cumulative, being in the top 1% of San Diego school district, being rank #1 in my class at the time of applications, and other acclamation, I had a decent chance of getting in to some.

Though going to a top university would have been great, SDSU was best for me. Why? Because I am LAZY!! Going to SDSU meant that it would be easy for me to be big fish. Knowing the general demographic of enrolled SDSU students (2.5-3.5 GPA), I knew I could easily top the classes and stand out. It wouldn’t take much effort and that was my strategy. In comparison, if I went to a school like Stanford, everyone enrolled would be brilliant and studious. I’d have much more competition for things like letters of recommendation, scholarships, and recruiting.

Work/School Balance?

Because of the relatively easier curriculum, it made it manageable for me to be a student and go to work. For a large leg of my college studies, I was a full-time student AND working three jobs (easily working 40 hours a week). Admittedly, it was REALLY tough, but this was a high priority for me because I wanted to start my savings and gain work experience. This was but another reason why I chose to go to SDSU. I imagine it would be even harder to maintain a good GPA at a top university while working simultaneously.

With that said, work took the forefront and my grades inevitably took a slight hit (meaning I didn’t get a 4.0 </3). I chose to stay long hours to finish working instead of sleeping, to go to work before an exam instead of studying, to prep for an interview instead of focusing on my class essay. But I really believe that your work/career is more important than school – there’s no point in getting straight A’s if you can’t get a nice job out of it.

If there is anything else you want to know, tell me in my!

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