I feel stupid for not going to Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, etc.

<p>Here's the short version of the last 1.5 years of my college life: </p>

<p>Admitted to a CSU; found out I had ADHD and after being on medication turns out I am a ton smarter and actually motivated to work; went to community collge or one semester to transfer to UCB/UCSD; had a shitty time at community college for various personal reasons; went back to CSU this semester.</p>

<p>Now I want to talk about what I put in the title, because for the most part I know that in the big picture where you go to school doesn't really matter and success is largely down to the individual and not based on whether they went to a state college vs. Stanford. But there's a part of me that still looks back and truly believes that if a lot of factors of how I was raised changed I would be admitted to the Stanford or MIT and that would really change the way how I feel about myself. Since I want to work in the internet startup industry of Silicon Valley, that puts an added emphasis on how important going to Stanford could have been for me.</p>

<p>I don't know if this is because of low self-esteem or down to "university materialism" but I wanted to share it and gather responses from ya'll.</p>

<p>Seriously, you have to move on. There are thousands of choices you could have made that would have changed the present. But those decisions were made differently and here you are. Don’t spend your life obsessed about the past. Otherwise people will quickly get annoyed with you. If you have a career goal, find someone in that field, and politely learn as much as you can from them to reach your goal.</p>

<p>Everyone has something that they could have done differently or could have changed if they knew what they knew now that might have made things differently now. But you can’t go back in time and change it, and even if you could, that doesn’t mean things would be better or differently now. All you can do is work hard to reach whatever goals you have. Learn from your past, and do your best to make sure that future-you doesn’t think “oh, why didn’t I take advantage of that opportunity” or “why didn’t I work harder then.” Do your best, and that’s all that you can do.</p>

<p>Also, especially if you want to enter the tech industry, your experience and business savvy might matter a lot more than where you got your degree from. A kid from a CSU who’s great at what they do is a much better asset than a newbie from Stanford who has had no real world experience. The material you learn is the same at every school. It’s what you do with it and the experience you get that is what’s going to matter in the real world. Don’t use “if only I had gone to XXX school” as an excuse for why you aren’t where you want to be.</p>

<p>You are dead wrong. If you goal is to work in startups then you lucked out. Sure a Stanford degree can be super helpful, not gonna argue. But that is one field where you can do well on merit alone. Be a beast of an engineer and no one will care where you went to college. CSU grads do pretty well having the advantage of already being in Calif. In addition, if you can do very well in your coursework, you will have a chance to go to a better name college for a Masters at some point, if you ever need or want it. Then anyone will only care where you got that degree. So stop fretting on woulda, shoulda, coulda and focus on optimizing what you can do with you have to work with.</p>

<p>Try for internships, work on open source problems and get a good gpa to make yourself an attractive candidate. </p>

<p>If you can, get some therapy now so you don’t spend your life looking in the rearview mirror.</p>

<p>"But there’s a part of me that still looks back and truly believes that if a lot of factors of how I was raised changed I would be admitted to the Stanford or MIT " …yea well that applies to everyone really…</p>

<p>time to move one :slight_smile: or else, in a few years you will be looking back and this time you will be wondering what could’ve, would’ve, should’ve been if you didnt worry so much about the past…honestly, if you are as smart as you say you are then really, you dont need a degree from Stanford to prove it…if you have it in you, you will do something amazing anyway…
good luck! :D</p>

<p>I go to Berkeley. There are many stupid people here. There are also many geniuses here (12 year old Physics major, whyyyyy). It’s all relative. If it bothers you that much, work your butt off and transfer. A lot of my friends transferred to a different 4-year when they realized their current school wasn’t for them. A lot of them traded up too. </p>

<p>Edit/ words</p>

<p>In my experience, the level of intelligence that is the norm at top schools can absolutely be seen at top state schools. And that intelligence can be just as numerous, it’s just more diluted.</p>

<p>I was surprised though. In my time at my school, I’ve met a lot of awkward people, a lot of uncultured people, a lot of crazy partiers, and a lot of boring people, but I haven’t met too many absolute dregs that attend school here – I’m talking about the totally unmotivated idiots I knew back in HS.</p>

<p>Well, I go to Cal Poly Pomona, even though I wanted to go to UCLA when I started at a community college. I was on track, but I was too immature for my first two years and slacked off after my first semester. I had many personal and financial problems, so I only submitted applications to CSU’s. It’s by no means a top school, but I enjoy my time here and am very proud of being here as a math major. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t go to a top school besides myself, a fellow engineering major (who happened to transfer with me), and someone that ended up going to CSU Northridge as an engineering major. Although I sometimes feel insecure about getting a job when I put up my credentials against other people, I don’t think I’ll have too much of a problem finding a job. If you want prestige, you can always get a graduate degree. As long as your school has good alumni, you should be alright. I know an old friend of mine that works at Google now that graduated from the same college. </p>

<p>If you’re as smart as someone from those colleges, it’ll show through your interview. Your skills are what matter, not really where you got your degree. If you can hang with the best of them, nobody’s really going to care about your degree. There are many smart people who end up at “lesser” colleges due to many reasons. But the what if’s and if I only’s are the kind of thing you need to put behind you and really just do your best where you are right now. </p>

<p>i used to go to a csu. that was until i was administratively dropped from it.</p>

<p>but did i ever have aspirations to go to a more selective college? sure i did. did i have the SAT scores? hells yeah. did i have anything else? nope. but i let the test scores cloud my vision of how ready i was for college, i let them drown out all my other doubts (i really doubted myself a lot until i finally got my test scores, proof that i was smart, proof that i could do something, proof that i belonged at a college, not at a lesser college but at a good one, with the SAT scores my place in the world for the next few years, my purpose in life, it all become clear: attend a respectable college and make something of yourself there). but i didn’t get into any of the respectable ones so that idea quickly went out the window. a shame at the time, but by then i’d stopped clutching my scores so closely to my chest. the information i thought they’d given me, the hope that i’d felt they provided, the sense that it told me something really profound and good about myself, all of that had worn off. i was back to the regular me. and would i have been better off at a more selective school? maybe, maybe if i would have realized i wasn’t fit for college sooner and failed out faster there. if i could have got the message in 1-2 semesters that would saved me the extra year it took me at the state school to get it, that i shouldn’t be in college. but all things considered 3-4 semesters was still pretty fast, a waste, yeah, but not a huge waste. i wasn’t in college 4 years before i gave up trying to graduate.so i can cut my losses without too much regret and move on to the supermarket produce area (produce is what i want to stock most) with a sigh of relief. no more school, no more impossible tasks, just got to show up and sort the produce, clock in my hours, and then leave. </p>

<p>it’s such a distant thought that i ever considered my place in life was anywhere else than in a department store, a supermarket, at night in an alley taking shelter beneath from an awning. those are my possible destinations in life, college was an illusion, it was the religious salvation that never came, the oasis in the desert that was never reached, yeah, you get the idea.</p>