I, Natalie Larsen, am going to Foothill next year. But despite the reactions of those around me, I have found no reason to view my decision as a “scandal” or a legitimate excuse for all of the dirty looks I have received these past few weeks. True, my cheeks turn slightly red as I share my news with the Yale-bound members of my class, but I honestly believe that my decision was well-made, and that I will be happiest taking classes here in jolly little Los Altos.
Now don’t misunderstand my purpose, I am entirely supportive of an immediate private-school education. But on a personal level, given the fact that I can’t even decide between breakfast cereals, I am in no way ready to decide what I want to study, much less choose a career path.
Yes, I have not decided what I want to be when I grow up, and even though we are graduating in a month, I bet you could ask any senior what his or her future career will be, and they will be unsure. I, for one, would have an answer that could outfit the entire “action/thriller” aisle of Blockbuster; “an astronaut/chef/race car-driver/trapeze-artist.”
You may laugh all you like, but however ridiculous my dreams may see to you, I hold them near to my heart. And while my mother mightn’t be so fond of my shark-wrestling ambitions, I would like to categorize my goals as “reachable.” But for them to maintain their status on my to-do list, I have to bump certain items down the list a smidge. Things like “force my mum to take another mortgage on our house” and “work off my debt for fifty years” aren’t very appealing to me at the moment. But then, they might be for you.
One day I plan to go to a private school, whatever my needs are at the time. For now, I choose to allow my dreams of submarines and spaceships to thrive. I also believe that the majority of my peers are just as bamboozled as I, and have overlooked an option that is completely legitimate. I don’t think that we fully realize exactly how difficult is is to achieve everyday dreams, let alone college-related ones. And don’t just assume that I am talking about parents. I think they know deep down that most of us will change our minds, switch majors, become Harvard-graduate scuba instructors, or simply just drop out. So knowing this, how can we frown upon places like Foothill and De Anza, whose attendees will be as successful, if not not more so than those grads bound for the Ivies?