UCSB Was Not My First Choice

Imagine a campus right by the glittering blue water beach with blue skies and the sun shining on you everyday; a campus that is the epitome of how you would imagine “SoCal” to be. Who WOULDN’T want to go there?

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Believe it or not, UCSB was definitely not one of my top choices when deciding where to go for college. I had gotten accepted and waitlisted to two out of the eight UC’s I applied to, then rejected from the rest. My cousin, who was the first in my family to have graduated from college, urged me to reject all the schools I had gotten accepted into and to go to community college. Against her guidance, I decided to accept UCSB's offer as I waited to hear from my waitlisted schools.

Even when it seemed like I would most likely be going to UCSB, I realized that I could not bring myself to get attached to the idea of going there. I told myself that there was always the option of community college. I didn’t magically fall in love with the campus during orientation. I felt uncertain and hesitant to say that I was going to be a UCSB student. I was afraid to get attached to a school I might not even go to. My cousin’s opposition to me attending UCSB was what was holding me back. It scared me to think that I was taking a path that my cousin didn’t want me to take because I respected her and believed that she wanted the best for me.    Feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, betrayal, doubt. Feelings of joy, belonging, happiness, delight, peace, acceptance. They all matter.

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Now, as a freshman in my second quarter at UCSB, there’s nothing I regret. I love the campus and living by the beach.  I can’t imagine where else I would rather be. If I hadn’t come here, I would’ve never gotten to know my roommates and I would have never became a club officer for Seoul’d Out. Even though UCSB wasn’t my first choice, I’m happy that I chose to come here over going to community college because I am lucky to be privileged enough to be able to make the decision to experience my freshman year at a university like UCSB.

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I wish I could say that I was the kind of person who didn’t hold grudges. But even today, I still think about what would have happened if I didn’t go my own way and listened to my cousin instead. Who knows, maybe I will eventually regret it in a few years. But even so, I’m so glad that I was courageous enough to choose the path I wanted to take. There is never only one path or one “right” path to go, but if you don’t know even where you are going then who’s to say that the path you are on right now is the wrong one.