“What’s in a name?” This famous question should be the first one posed by any college advisor worth his or her master’s. How much should the reputation of the university we attend matter to us? Are we superficial, vain even, if we crave that elite Ivy League status as much as, or more than, our actual college experience? Has our society indoctrinated us to believe that true happiness can be attained only when the admission rate is below 7%?
Deerfield, a self-proclaimed college preparatory school, is faced with the daunting challenge of educating, nurturing and shipping off 630 teenagers to the most coveted institutions of higher education in the world. So how do we students cope with this burden to be nothing less than the best? What happens if we fail to meet these exceptional standards? Can we be happy no matter how U.S. News and World Report ranks our chosen college, or does Deerfield truly believe we must go “HYP or Bust”?
Happiness is such an intangible, vague concept, but the notion that a label holds the key to it is seriously misplaced. Happiness lies in the little things found on any college campus–the chance friendships, the inside jokes, the wild memories–and the truly well-prepared Deerfield student may have the foresight to recognize this opportunity anywhere, at any time, and seize it.