The Distinction Between Wanting a College and Loving a College
By Kristin Drew
January 23, 2007
A student gives some wise advice on the distinction between wanting a college and loving a college.
As I was translating Latin this week, I came across one of my favorite Latin words: cupio. Cupio literally translates to, “I want” or “I desire.” While a myriad of derivatives come from this Latin word, my favorite is Cupid, the infamous deity of love.
Most people recognize this deity around Valentine’s Day as the annoying diaper-clad baby who shoots love arrows at unsuspecting people. In myths, he sparks emotions with these infamous arrows at mortals and deities alike to incite love, create chaos or get revenge. Unfortunately, when he carries out this enormous power, not all myths end happily.
I sometimes think that college-bound seniors need to recall what they love in life and seek such qualities in a college. While different colleges desire certain students to be representative of their current student body, the students should also want the college in return. In a way, we need to use our rationale to act as our Cupid to find the college where we belong.
Hence, I think that when you form a college list, you should only incorporate colleges which will accommodate your needs. It’s a big deal. One of the colleges from your list will be your future home for four years. I’m not only speaking about the crucial programs; You have to wonder about the size, the atmosphere, the weather, the student-teacher ratio, the college philosophy and many other factors. I will adamantly state that a name alone will never fill your needs as a student. Sadly, I have witnessed many friends feel estranged from their first-choice colleges because they chose their school poorly. Often, they transferred to another school.
For example, I wanted to go to Princeton ever since I was six years old. Of course, I wanted to attend this college because all of my cultural exposure showed Princeton to equal happiness, riches and heroism. However, as I researched colleges in high school, I realized that Princeton does not permit double majors. They hold a philosophy that a student should concentrate and focus on a single major. While I deeply respect this philosophy, I do not agree with it. Personally, I adore the Renaissance philosophy of being a well-rounded student who pushes his or her limits to the highest educational potential. As I’ve mentioned in former columns, I want to double major in math and literature. I know that while Princeton may suit other students, it will not suit my Renaissance needs.
Do not forget one crucial fact: Want or desire may not necessarily lead to love. Make sure you love the right things. Misguided love can lead to severe and painful consequences. While your own personal college-selecting Cupid may try to mess with your heart, don’t let it mess with your mind.
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