I am a freshman attending Brown University. I chose Brown after a getting into 3 Ivys (Brown, Harvard, and UPenn), Williams, Pomona, USC, and an in-state school. After visiting campuses, my decision came down to Brown and Harvard. I thought back on my visits, remembered how much I loved Brown and its campus’s dynamic, and I matriculated there. I could not ignore the sense of peace and happiness I felt just walking around the campus and interacting with the admitted/current students.
Unfortunately, my family and friends did not take my decision as positively. My mom didn’t speak to me for a week because I turned down Harvard. My dad was shocked for a day or so before he finally came around. My aunt was furious, claiming she would have never let her child do what I had done. Many people were confused or even angry with me. There were a few individuals that understood my choice and stood by me. But this was kind of a rough time for me. For most of my high school career, I pushed myself and excelled for both myself AND my parents. There was always, always a desire to make them proud and happy. So when I went against their hopes/dreams for their only kid and chose Brown over the H bomb, it was the first real decision I’d made for only myself and my happiness in a long time.
Let me preface what I’m about to say with this: there is no denying my love for Brown, even today. It’s a wonderful institution, and the academic freedom is unparalleled. I feel like I am studying exactly what I love to learn; everyone in my classes is engaged in their studies because they, too, are studying what they love. But each time I return home, I still receive questions of “How could you turn down Harvard?” “Brown over Harvard? Really?” or snidely asked “How’s Brown, wherever the heck that is?”
Has anyone else here experienced so much backlash from their college decision from family/friends? How did you deal with this? I’ve tried ignoring these remarks, focusing on my own peace of mind, and just living my life. But they’re always there. And I know this seems like a petty problem, but I would really like to learn how to completely disregard these comments.