Column: Don’t Let the Community Choose Your Future


Eli Franklin, Staff Writer

LFHS is known for having its students earn acceptance into elite institutions such as Northwestern and Yale. While this is something to be proud of, the Lake Forest community as a whole has generated a stigma around students and elite institutions. In less fortunate communities and districts around the country, it is a privilege and an honor to go to attend any college, nonetheless a college with a four percent acceptance rate. 

During my college process, I felt the need to apply to highly accredited schools due to how the community might react if I didn’t. However as next fall comes near and the college process unravels, Bradley University, a small school in Peoria, IL, has become a big part of my final decision, along with the highly accredited Tulane University. 

When I got my acceptance letter from Bradley, I thought it was exciting, but not anything compared to when the Tulane decisions came out. Ever since junior year, I knew Tulane was the place I wanted to be. Admittedly, Bradley was my “safety school”, so I pushed the acceptance letter aside and never gave it another thought, especially after getting into what I considered my “dream school”. While I had applied to Bradley, I really had not done any research about the university. However, as I accumulated more college decisions and took financial aid into account, the decision of where I would spend the next four years was no longer set in stone. While Tulane was always my number one choice, elite institutions come with a price—a very large one in fact. While I have yet to see my financial aid from Tulane, being a much smaller school, Bradley had the ability to give me a substantial amount of financial aid. 

After seeing the financial aid offer from Bradley, I figured I would look into the school more—it can’t hurt to do research on where you may be spending your next four. As I researched, I found that Bradley has a stand alone sports communication program.  While you may not be interested in sports communication specifically, I urge you to do research on all of the schools you are admitted to, because you never know what you may find. Because of the extra hours I spent on Bradley’s website, I know I’ll be happy wherever I end up—New Orleans, Peoria, or anywhere else in between 

With all that being said, if you got into an elite institution or your dream school, you should be proud! LFHS is filled with many intelligent, determined, like-minded individuals who are all striving for very similar goals. If you were admitted to an elite institution,that is something to be proud of and should not go unnoticed. To the kids going to smaller, lesser-known schools, you have every right to be just as proud. You worked tirelessly for four straight years, and the hard work is finally paying off. To the kids who have decided college isn’t their thing, you should be proud as well! While you may have not enjoyed it, you made it through four years at a very competitive high school, and you’re not planning your future for anyone but yourself. 

Point being, you should be proud wherever you may end up. When I got into Tulane, I felt like I had no choice but to attend due to how the community would react.  While it may not be spoken of, there would be parents and others criticizing one for not attending an elite institution. However, as time has passed, I have realized that every college, no matter the acceptance rate or credibility, has many unique traits to look forward to. To my peers and their parents, I ask you not to judge, but to be proud of the community you live in.

Be proud of how every kid, no matter their path, has been taught to find success in their own way.