College Commiserations

It’s become a tradition at my high school for the seniors to post all their college rejection letters online or physically on a wall in school. To see all the letters it is at once amusing, sad, and exciting. I know next year I will be partaking in the same process. (One of my very first posts on this blog was titled Opt Out of College Admissions Mania.)

So far, a bunch of my senior friends have heard about their early decision applications. For any of you readers who weren’t in college recently or don’t have a kid who is going through the process, it is more competitive that you could ever possibly imagine. One friend of mine had 1600 SATs and a 4.0 GPA (at my school a 4.0 is amazing) and just got deferred early from Harvard. EVERY applicant is packaged in way to make him or her look perfect.

Starting in January I will be starting to meet with our college counselor and doing some thinking. At this point, my mind is wind open. I expect to visit colleges starting in the spring or summer. I DO know that given where my grades and board scores are, and given my dislike for the traditional approach toward education, the traditional “top” schools are probably not in my future. My #1 goal is to find a college that would be a good fit for me and that I could learn a lot while pursuing my other interests.

At the moment I’m still high on the idea of taking a year off after high school to either work at my own company, work at another company or entrepreneurial-like organization, and travel.

As I go through this process, I will blog my thoughts and experiences along the way. I will also be looking for specific feedback or suggestions or any “insider” tips from alumni.

One Response to College Commiserations

  1. Michael Edwards says:

    Hey Ben,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. Back in 1997, I had a website that was generating ad revenue and decided to leave high school. Since then I worked as a cofounder with the founders of MyDesktop.com (a bunch of 18 year olds that sold the company to Internet.com), did some consulting, and recently worked on Mediachest.com for 2 years…I’m now working on a next-gen marketplace.

    I’d just like to chime in and give the advice I’d give everyone who has the ability to take it: take some time off of school. Work full time. 1-4 years of this will tell you a lot about what you want to do with your life and it will give you lots of enthusiasm if you do decide to go back to school because you will know why you are there. The only downside is that you won’t necessarily have friends your age if you do go back. Depending on what you want out of college this can
    be good/bad.

    Another option you might think about is doing a year or two of college (get some core classes out of the way) and then leaving for a few years. This way if you decide to come back you only have to think about the stuff that matters. It also lets you say that you went to college and are taking a leave of absence…Or you can just take one class a semester for the next few years.

    Anyway, keep up the good work and don’t for a second listen to people telling you not to pursue your dreams.

    Best regards,
    Michael Edwards

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