Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Different Perspective

Written by Tage Eriksen
c/o 2010

IB Diploma, high SAT scores, GPAs over 4.0, Extended Essay, extra curriculars, the list goes on and on. These things are all stressed so much in high school because the standards to get into the "top colleges" continue to grow. And of course teachers and staff members want you to get into the best college possible and succeed there. But I believe there is a major flaw in the mindset of today. This system has been set up so Linguistic Intelligence and Logical-Mathematical Intelligence are deemed most valuable. But what about the student who may not be the strongest in these two types of intelligence, but is gifted in art, music, or dance? It doesn't seem fair.
And I know that the college essay and letters of recommendation are supposed to be the chance for aspects other that grades to be explored. But I don't think it's enough.
I just wish students would realize that college isn't the only answer. I'm not saying to drop what you’re doing in high school, because everything you learn in high school will apply to you in "real life" even if you aren’t aware of it. Being one of the very few students from my class who decided not to attend college, I would like it to be known that I do not regret my decision one bit.
I now live in New York City and dance with the Manhattan Youth Ballet Company. I dance seven days a week and love every minute of it. I hate seeing people put what they are really passionate about on the back-burner because society expects them to attend college first. And I'm sorry, but college is not necessary for all professions. However this does not mean high school should be taken any less seriously. Using myself as an example, being a dancer there is always the possibility of a career-ending injury, so if necessary I have to be ready to go to college. However, college can wait, and until then, I will be doing what I love.
The moral of the story is to do what you are passionate about, not what you are pressured into doing. Embrace those other levels of intelligence!
Ms. Berman's response:  I have to admit that at times it was difficult to encourage Tage to follow her dream.  As a teacher of Science and an observer of her potential, I wanted her to go to college and major in Biology or Chemistry.  As her mentor, I was forced to make Tage the priority and separate out what was in her best interest versus mine.  I do believe, however, that there will be a time when she returns to the world of academia and thoroughly enjoys the experience... it just will be her own adventure, not the way in which society defines the typical college experience. 


  1. I can really relate to where Tage is coming from, sometimes it seems like it's never enough especialy going to a school like I.S where you can achieve much higher than a 4.0, sometimes i feel as if it's more of teachers and the parents wanting more for the kids, to me I fell that the student has to want it just as much .

  2. As much as I felt like I had it together while I was in high school, after two years of college, I realized I didn't want to concentrate my life around that major I was following. I stepped away and took the time to really look at what profession I wanted to follow.
    I stopped college and enter the working world. There have been a lot of experiences, but also a lot of hardships, because I wasn't able to get a salary I really wanted; All because I didn't have a BA.
    If I have one recommendation for anyone in a similar circumstance, it is this:
    Don't stop college altogether. Transfer to place where the tuition is affordable. Get a degree is whatever you like from where-ever. I look back and a degree in Psychology would NOT help me at all in what I do today, but if I had a degree (any degree) I would have been to seek higher pays along the way.

  3. It is difficult to some of us that didn't start high school with the best grades, and now me as a senior with a 3.2 overall, being in IS and seeing all the people getting 4.0's and above, I feel "dumb" next to the smart people that get 4.6's. When my brother got into SDSU with a 2.9, I thought by having a 3.0 and above I would get into it, now I have almost no hope into getting into it, and I'm afraid to go to a community college. But like as long as I can prove that I can be ready for college when I transfer, I will be able to pursue my goals, and if I can do that I will be happy.

  4. I think that one should follow their dream like Tage, but balance it out more with some college, even if it is just a community one. They aren't considered the best by some, but at least you can get your GEs done so you can go on to college when you are ready to. Then you can make money so you can continue with your dreams and aspirations

  5. I agree with Tage on how college is not for everyone. I do believe that pursuing something that YOU enjoy is more important than anything else at times. From my viewpoint I would rather have a job that I actually enjoy going to everyday instead of a job that i despised and did not enjoy doing. And for this reason I respect and agree with Tage for the reason of pursuing something she enjoys doing instead of what everybody else is doing like college.

  6. I agree with Tage. IB diploma, finals, homework, and baseball put me under a lot of stress.I'm not sure if I can even handle much more stress. It makes me almost second guess what I want to do after I get my IB diploma and graduate high school. I for one don't know what kind of job I'm looking for, or what I even want to do. I want to do something that I enjoy, that is worth going out of my way, and putting myself in all this stress for. If I can't enjoy doing all this now, what will make life after graduation anymore enjoyable?

  7. I can relate to Tage during my freshman your I could tell that keeping up with my work, and playing baseball for the school would be something that I would not be able to do due to how I work. I did not want to give up playing baseball because that has been my live since I can remember. I had an opportunity to join my families baseball sunday league. where there is no mandatory practice dates just show up and play. This allowed me to do what I love, and concentrate on my education.

    Miguel Preciado