To begin with, not getting accepted into your dream school doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Many universities set certain criteria for international students, like me, which makes the likelihood of getting accepted drop. Not to mention that international students usually compete with each other and are treated differently than regular US freshmen.
I have applied to Texas A&M University for the fall 2014 semester, unfortunately, I was not so lucky to get accepted immediately. They offered me a program in which I have to attend a different branch of the school and maintain a certain GPA in order to transfer the following year. It sounded very appealing at first, however, as I read more and more about the program, I realized it didn’t offer all majors and most importantly, it didn’t offer the major that I wanted, Engineering.
At first, receiving the news of being rejected brought me down a bit and honestly it was somehow shocking. Then, I decided to look at it in a different way; I wasn’t rejected, I was given an opportunity to begin elsewhere. As a result, I applied to a college situated next to the university so I would later on apply for the university again and transfer my credits. I sought advice from several family members, teachers and friends. Many said I should reconsider my choice about starting off in a college, some even told me to stay in Jordan as I could get accepted into some of the best universities here. However, I’ve always wanted to experience studying abroad and become independent. A close family member told me, “Why be a small fish in a big pond, when you can be a big fish in a small one?” meaning that the small pond is the community college. I honestly could not agree more.
Going to a community college then transferring has many pros and cons. One of its major pros is that it’s incredibly cheaper than a 4-year university. In my case, I’m a green card holder, but I will be considered an international student during the first year as I have finished my high school diploma in Amman, Jordan. Therefore, instead of paying the “International” university tuition fees, I will be paying the cheaper “International” community college tuition fees.
On the other hand, you might feel a bit inferior to your friends who got accepted into a 4-year university right away. Well, you shouldn’t feel that way. In the end, it doesn’t matter where you start, it’s where you finish that counts. After all, companies usually look at the university you have graduated from, not the one you first entered.
All in all, you shouldn’t feel so bad about not being accepted into your dream university. Many successful people like George Lucas, founder of Lucasfilm (Star Wars!), attended a community college before graduating from the University of Southern California.