Go to a Private School that’s not an Ivy League? No Worries.

Here’s the sad truth: if you don’t go to an Ivy League university/college, but still are going to a private school, being compared to an Ivy is a reality you might know all too well.

Sorry Cornell. You’re gorgeous and everything, but you’re not the one. It’s not you. It’s me.

I go to Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. This is the same town that holds the esteemed Cornell University, and if there’s anything I’ve learned through this, it’s that there’s a respect you can have for those from an Ivy League school as well as a level of contempt. This is something not most college students are willing to admit. A bit of you is jealous. But you didn’t even apply to an Ivy League, so why even care? More importantly, would you even feel comfortable going to one if you got into one? Also, why do you care that much in the first place about specifically these schools? I guarantee most of it is by ear. You hear on the news each year about those "special" kids who got accepted into all of the Ivy Leagues. Every. Single. Year. Your parents expect the most from you, and for some reason, that equals an Ivy League. Your high school teachers were breathing it down your neck, excited to have some of their students go to Ivy Leagues in order to prove the school as being worthy. More importantly, none of these have to do with you and your thought process when choosing a college. These are all outside factors and that’s something that is important to consider when choosing and/or while attending a college.

A little bit ago, I was told by someone I valued, that you should not go to a private school if your major isn’t huge there and that “you don’t have the right to complain about loans.” Obviously, this is not something that should be taken at face value. For many people, community colleges and public colleges can be more expensive than private colleges. There are a lot of things that you take into consideration choosing a college such as the environment, the students, the food and the opportunities the school may give you despite your major not being the most relevant there. But his statement was also relevant in the fact that college is really fucking expensive. I barely afforded to stay at Ithaca College. If it weren’t for a lucky random scholarship for students from CT, I can’t say I wouldn’t have transferred

Needless to say, I was very offended by the comment. In fact, I began to wonder what I was even doing at Ithaca College, but then I realized a few important things to keep in mind:

1. I chose to stay at my college for a reason.

2. There is always the option to transfer.

3. I was able to get an internship through being in the town of my college. Plus, the person who hired me was an Ithaca College graduate.

4. An Ivy League College is either for you or not. And that’s okay.

5. Negativity fuels negativity.

6. College is simply a step in life; it isn’t your whole life even if those loans feel like a lifelong issue.

7. Your choices are valid.

8. You get to define what “making it” means. But at the end of the day, what you learn is what’ll get you far, not where you go. (Would you rather spend all your time studying and get no experience in internships and jobs due to that obsession with schooling? Or get that experience necessary and apply what you’ve learned to the real world setting? Who would you hire?)

9. Stop comparing yourself. Intelligence is a funny thing and covers many categories. Your grades aren’t who you are.

10. Enjoy your time in college to the best of your ability. It’s stressful and sometimes outright painful. But hey, if you’re going to spend this much money, make sure you enjoy what you are doing. This is coming from an English major with a marketing communications internship. You got this!

Be a Penny Proud. Got into college? Go you! Haters gonna hate. And lovers gonna love.

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