Don't Talk to Me About College

Location

The only thing

People ever seem to

Talk to me about

Is college.

 

Where do you want to go?

What do you want to major in?

What's your SAT score?

What are you doing

to get where you wanna go?

 

Those

Are the nice ones

And then...

Then you get people like my mother.

 

Right now...there is nothing truly

Significant

You could put on your application

You're not going to win Stanford over with a sob story about how your daddy left

Here are some application essay books.  

Read them.

 

It's ironic

Because she went to Cal.

 

And my father.

2100 isn't good enough.  You're better than that.

To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed.

The head of the Stanford Alumni Association said 2200.  

2200.

 

It's ironic

Because he never went to college

And now makes more money

Than my degree-bearing mother

 

And then there’s people

Like extended family

And teachers

And administrators

And essentially

Anyone over the age of twenty

 

Don’t talk to me about college

 

My life isn’t a blossom

Whose terminal height

Is determined by

The prestige of my degree.

 

We were raised believing

We have to work our asses off

Day in and day out

Only to send our applications

To people who might not want us

 

Like cows for slaughter

Sent to the house after years

Of beefing up, just praying

We might be juicy enough

And tender enough

And fatty enough

To be called Chateubriand.

 

So don’t ask me about college

Don’t ask me about this

Horrendous system

That determines your entire life

Based on your performance

As a teenager

 

This system that puts

So much emphasis on grades

And numbers

And scores

That students are no longer driven

To learn, but to see those numbers

 

Don’t get me wrong

I recognize

That this is a first world problem.

Something that

I’m lucky to complain about

 

That some kids

Are never asked

Never expected

To go to college

 

But there are plans I have

And people I’ll meet

And places I’ll go

That can’t be summarized

In a sweatshirt

 

You wanna know what

I wanna hear?

Hey Tash, how’s your baby sister?

Because she’s doing great

And she loves to dance

And she’s eager to learn

 

Are you upset

That your trip to Brazil got cancelled?

Absolutely.

I was going to meet my Brazilian family

For the first time

And my birthfather failed to be responsible

Again.

But I’ll survive.

 

What’s the last book you read?

Paper Towns by John Green

And it made me question my existence

But somehow validated its significance

At the exact same time.

 

There’s more to me

Than an essay

Or a score

And colleges fail to recognize that

 

It’s unfortunate

And it’s degrading

But that’s the society we live in

 

Given the opportunity,

Absolutely I would change it, but

For a bit of perspective--

It wouldn’t help us out

We’re still screwed

 

But I want to do better

For my pilot little brother

And my dancer little sister

And their kids

And my kids

And their kids

 

So don’t ask me about college

Ask me about the future

And how I’m planning to rearrange it.

 

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