Dream School vs. Reality

The realities of life may affect one’s acceptance to their dream school

Oxnard High School Junior Jarrick Porte puts maximum effort into everything he does, knowing it will benefit him in the long run. He says he “tends to look ahead into the future” and believes he can pursue his dream of attending a University of California.

Unfortunately dreams and reality do not always collide. High schoolers’ ambitions of attending a specific college may be altered by various factors.

Some students are incapable of receiving a higher education due to financial issues. According to cbsnews.com, “nearly 26 percent of students who were accepted into their top pick ultimately opted not to enroll because they received no financial aid.”

“Money is tight right now with my sister going to UCLA,” said OHS Junior Vanessa Ihrke. Although Ihrke is an exceptional student and athlete, financial issues will affect her ability to enroll at four year university. Ihrke hopes financial aid and scholarships will strengthen her chances of attending UCSB or SDSU.

“A smaller percentage of U.S. students are getting into their preferred school than ever before,” said cbsnews.com.  With more students planning on attending college, the volume of applicants push acceptance rates lower and lower.

Realistically, OHS senior Xochitl Lopez envisions herself attending a lower status university after high school, which is not her ultimate goal. She yearns to attend Pepperdine, but she said “because of the number of applicants” to acceptances, it seems unrealistic.


Likewise, OHS senior Darien Reyes’ dream and reality do not match up. Reyes’ has always longed to attend Harvard, saying “[he] just really liked the location and the campus that the school provided.” Although a well-rounded student who is juggling a job, sports, and school, Reyes believes the competitiveness and pretentiousness makes the school out of his reach.

As for OHS alumni, Cal State University Fullerton Freshman Melgret Valdez admits CSUF was not number one on her list. Despite it not being her dream school, Valdez said “[she] loves CSUF so far” and can always attend her first choice, The University of California Irvine, for nursing school. She enjoys CSUF more than she anticipated, drawn to the approachable professors, caring advisers, and the different resources the school provides.

If one is unable to attend their dream school, it is not the end of the world. In this day and age, there is more growth of opportunities and options to be explored, which may exceed ones expectations.