Appreciate every school, prestigious or not

Matvari Maharaj, Opinion Editor

Every assignment I did, every test I took, every class I signed up for, every grade I worked for, they’re all for that one acceptance. For that one envelope in the mail.

I come from a family that immigrated from Fiji. Both of my parents have a foreign high school diploma and never attended college. Going to college, let alone in America, is a dream, one that’s difficult to fulfill when I’ve had to learn the school system on my own. My parents had very little involvement with my path to college. They trusted me to know what I’m doing to graduate on time and get into a college in the end.  

So it’s hard for me to see my classmates set aside an acceptance from Chico State and ask their parents to fill out certain forms that they should be doing themselves.

Seniors have to legally fill out the college application on their own, but we know many get help from college counselors or their parents.  

But financial aid is a different story. It’s probably the worst part so far. I have friends who had their parents do it for them, which frustrates me. I had to get my parents’ tax returns from 2012 and do it for a total of six full hours, answering every question carefully, fearing I would put in the wrong answer. I occasionally would ask my dad clarifying questions, but he himself couldn’t fully answer with confidence because he also didn’t know the answer.

I see this happen everyday: One friend gets into a safety school, usually a CSU. A school he knew he was going to get into; he was just waiting for the letter to come in. Once he got the letter, he didn’t care much about it because he knew it was coming. He casually put it to the side as if it was daily mail and moved on with his life.

Another friend has the same school as his reach school and to this day he still hasn’t gotten a letter. He is anxiously waiting every day to hear from the college and fears for a rejection.

College is a big deal for those who pursue it. I know some people are more intelligent than others. It’s the way the world works, but as seniors get their acceptances, we all must understand that getting into a college, any college at all, is a success.

A senior accepted to Chico should be equally celebrated as a senior accepted to Harvard. We live in a biased country where the ‘big name’ schools get more attention, more praise, more everything.

People tend to forget that for some, getting into a CSU is a huge accomplishment. It was for me because I now have the choice of going to college. I made it. I may not get into a super prestigious school and quite frankly, I’m okay with that. At the end of the day, I made it to college. Just like those who were accepted to the big names, to the UCs and to the CSUs. We all made it. So don’t just put aside the safety school acceptances. Be thankful for it because everyone is waiting for that one acceptance.