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I'm a high school senior from MA who recently applied to several colleges EA. The schools I already applied to were a mix of matches and safeties. One of them is Southern Methodist University in Dallas TX, which was grown to be my top choice.`2
For me, SMU has a lot of great qualities that I need/want in a college:
-an beautiful, legit campus within a major city and easy access to restaurants and shopping.
-decent academics: I'll get a great education by going to class and studying, but I won't need to be in the library 24/7
-school spirit, which my HS lacked
-Southern hospitality...or just pure politeness in general
-nice, warmer weather for the majority of the year
-resources/alumni connections for jobs/internships
-pretty much a place where I will be happy and enjoy my 4 years
and a bunch of other factors.
Most importantly, it has a journalism program/newspaper that is up-and-coming and has the potential for me to make a difference within the department, versus at other top j-schools (i.e. Mizzou, Northwestern, etc.) where it would be much harder to stand out as a student.
So what's the problem? My parents-well, mostly my mom-think I'm "settling" for a less prestigious school.
My mom has made it very clear that she wants me to apply ED to George Washington University in D.C. She thinks it has more job connections and that it's just a better school in general. However, I do NOT like GW enough to commit ED (she's somehow under the impression that I don't really have to go, despite having 2 older bros going through this process.)
I don't like GW because it's too urban, too focused on politics (I know it's D.C., but you know what I mean,) doesn't really have school spirit, and simply reminds me too much of my HS-a high-stress environment where you need to outdo everyone else all the time.
Maybe I'm focusing too much on the traditional collegiate stuff. But, that's what I want. My HS is one of those college prep public schools where you're expected to study a lot and build up your resume all the time. For me, I need some normalcy in a college. I understand my mom's concerns about finding a job and stuff, but to me SMU and GW are almost on the same level and I will be fine at SMU. I accept the fact that I might be in the South for awhile, but I'm okay with that.
Am I wrong for focusing more so on the fit than the prestige?