The Right Choice?...

Essay by coopercasterlineCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2014

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Casterline 1

Cooper Casterline

Professor Malmberg

College Writing 1

19 September 2014

The Right Choice…?

This is not the place for me. It wasn't even on my college list. It was the college I used to make fun of with my friends because it was where the "dumb" kids went. I'm not a dumb kid, am I? I feel as though I need to prove myself, maybe by writing this stellar essay you're about to read. But to whom do I need to show that I'm not a typical high schooler that passed by the skin of his fingers? Who accepts the resumes?

The day I had the talk with my father about where I was going to school was a day I remember all too well, even though it was as simple a conversation as me asking a question to my science teacher.

It started with my father saying, "Hey, where do you want to go to college?"

"Well, Ithaca is everything I want, has the program I need, and…"

"They're pretty expensive"

"I realize. But maybe I can get a lot of money…"

"I looked at colleges too, BCC has the same program you want."

Right then and there I knew where I was going. The place the 11th grade Cooper would never have dreamed (or nightmared) to go. I guess I thought that Broome was going to restrict me from being what I want to be, and pigeon hole me into being an "average kid". In a word, I was scared. How was SUNY Broome going to help propel me towards a career in music production and recording, when I didn't even know that they had a program?

I was ashamed to tell my friends that I was going to BCC. I kept trying to justify it to them, telling them I wasn't just going for liberal arts. I was majoring in music. But it didn't matter. It shouldn't have bothered me, but it did. I was (and am) too black and white, either I suck or I don't suck. I felt like I sucked. All I want in life is music, and to make good money doing it. To do that, you either need to be really really good or really really lucky. Fortunately, I can with full sincerity say I'm both. I'm in a band that is well on its way to getting signed by a big time record label, working with the best producer/manager in the area, and get told by every drunk forty year old woman how great and cute I am. What else do I need right? With those specs, I should walk into any school for free (he said humbly).

In all seriousness, I can get into Ithaca (not for free) and do very well, and go straight out of four years there and get a job. 100% of students coming out of the program that I would be in at Ithaca get a job. Right out of college. That's unheard of nowadays. That's worth the price of admission (and tuition). Yet I end up at a community college.

The first day was a huge test for me. I was as snobby as you could get, thinking my "you know what" doesn't smell and I have the ability to walk on liquids. And you know what? I found out something that I expected and dreaded. The music program sucks. Shhh, don't tell anyone. I am well versed in the language of sounds and they just short of forced me to be in "beginner classes". Not a good start, BCC. I have a good friend in his second year in the program, and (don't tell anyone) I did his homework. His first homework assignment, something he learned that day, something I learned in high school. He was a sophomore in college. And guess what the worst part? I can't test out. They don't offer the next level classes this semester. The only thing that this college is propelling me to do is to propel myself into a transfer.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dad, and love that my family is putting me through any college. I can't ever repay them. Ithaca is $60,000 a year, and it would take 12 years at Broome to pay that much. So I get it, save 120,000 a year. Learn stuff (hopefully). Get some general education course done. Like silly English 110. But I don't know if I can live with myself sitting through another class in Campus Services building and not learn something. I hate and love to say it, 11th grade Cooper was right. All that humiliation for nothing. I ended up in the wrong place.