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Why did I Choose UCONN Over IVY Schools?

My parents were overjoyed when they found out that I had gotten into several ivy schools. They were so proud of me and couldn’t wait to see which ivy school I would choose. I got into other universities as well, but my parents told me that I would have to choose an ivy. They told all of their friends how their daughter got into ivy schools but never mentioned my other schools because it wasn’t good enough. Growing up with Asian parents meant that my education needed to be prioritized and bragged about.


I had so much pressure to do well in school from everyone around me, especially because my brother never succeeded academically. I had members of the church come up to me and ask me “How did you do it?” I didn’t know how to answer so I just said that I worked really hard. Some people would give me suggestions as to which school they thought would be the best fit for me. Everyone had something to say about my college process. I was proud of myself but I now felt so much pressure to choose an IVY school. Even though I had gotten into ivy schools, it never felt right nor could I picture myself studying there for 4 years. I was afraid that once I told them that I was losing interest in their top choices that it would change the way they would act. I wanted them to continue being proud of me. Getting into such a top-tier school as a DACA student was an incredible accomplishment.


My parents lived with the regret that they could not help me with anything school related. I made it my mission to make them proud no matter what.  I didn’t want to let my parents down so I let them continue fantasizing about me going to their top choice IVY school. Mid-April, I received my application decision from UCONN. After doing a summer program at UCONN the previous year, I fell in love with the campus and the overall environment of the school as well as what it had to offer. The saying “You will know exactly when the school is right for you” was very much true. I realized that UCONN was the school for me. It had an amazing bio program for my major and would offer me a strong education. Not only was it academically fitting, I knew I would have a blast. It was time for me to let my parents know that UCONN would be my choice. They could tell right away that I really loved the school. They supported me in my decision but made me promise that I would work my butt off. After my decision was announced, everyone at church kept asking me “Why?” I knew my answer right away. I chose UCONN because it felt like the perfect match. I would have had an advantage of attending UCONN financially because of the in-state tuition. I didn’t want to burden my parents with my tuition. IVY league schools are very expensive and it would have been another weight on my shoulders. Just because I was able to get into IVY schools didn’t mean that I had to be pinned down to those schools. I never thought I would be able to get into an IVY school. It was a miracle, but UCONN felt like home. I have never been more happy about starting school and that is because I am able to attend my dream school.

imageJessica Lee
8/29/2018 6:24pm
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