“Sale” Signs are My Favorite (My College Decision)

(If you’re a friend of family member wondering where I’m going to college and you’re here for the short answer, follow the fl✿wers and keep scrolling honey. If you’ve got a second and love a seamlessly incorporated animated disney expression gif or two you might want to stick around for the long answer. Either way, thanks for stopping by in advance dear reader, have a beautiful day)
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Imagine,  on the horizon, your neighborhood department store you go to normally for all your basic clothing essentials. You walk in. You look out over the sea of colored items on racks and just out of curiosity you peek at one of the price tags.

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You check another shirt, another pair of jeans, another shirt,

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Nothing costs less than $100, and you feel a little lost.

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You dig a little and come to find that the reason for the exploding prices in this warped and god-forsaken metaphorical world is because your ex- favorite department store has teamed up with hundreds of other big stores across the America to raise prices together under one agreement to juice out their consumers. Because they’re all doing it, there’s nowhere to get a shirt around town unless you have $100 dollars in your back pocket. You don’t have that kind of luck.

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You walk outside and press your nose up to the glass sullenly looking at the gum-spotted sidewalk. Cars swoosh by. You stare at the dumb paper mannequin’s inside. It’s wearing your clothes and you hate it in all of its paper arrogance.
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Then, the faintest glow appears in the back of the room. It flickers and fades, although you’re not sure if you saw it clearly. It returns again brighter, and it’s light grows and spreads in it’s corner. It goes out. You were hoping it was a sign. Suddenly, an employee appears walking briskly around the corner with an awkwardly shaped object tucked under her arm. It’s a sign! A neon sign! She sets it down, climbs up a footstool beneath the window in front of you, and installs the thing right above your head. Then she plugs it in and in an instant of a flicker, there it is. You step back to get the full view.

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“Sale items at least 90% off!” you gasp.

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You book it.

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 “WELL WOULDJA LOOK AT THAT!” you say,
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The shirts on the sale rack only cost $3-$10 and feature some of the highest quality basics you could ever need and/or want. That’s all you needed! Imagine yourself grabbing as many as you can hold in your arms and head to checkout, your total comes to $11.

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“Yussss” you think to yourself as you begin walking away.

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As you’re walking, an even stranger phenomenon begins to occur.  You hear raised voices coming from small crowds of people gathering. They’re some of the ones who had $100 bills and credit cards and bought clothes from the expensive racks, but instead come out with what appears to be discreetly ripped and subtly soiled linens. First appearing to be an overpricing problem, now looks like a rip-off scheme. People run back to the counter yelling, “This isn’t what I paid for!”, only to have “No Refunds” signs flashed in their face. There are riots outside, and yet the quietest ones walking towards the parking lot are the those who you suspect are just like you, the frugal winners of the department store race.

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If you figured out at some point that this whole story is my crazy way of making a point somehow, you’re right. Metaphors are fun. Almost as fun as finally using these aladdin gif’s I’ve been saving for months.

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 The Department Store might demonstrate the behaviors of the College Market and the sale rack could represent your own local bargain that is community college or junior college. Why? Here’s my experience, and I’d love to hear what you think at the end in the comments section.

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I found the perfect blouse at this secret sale rack; great color, fit perfectly, was simple enough to go with everything, and was miles below my budget. I found a community college with a lively campus, stellar reputation, and with an incredible film program. As if things couldn’t get any better, the whole box of glittery jubilee is on sale, a 90% mark down from the average private and state school, the kind of sale a girl can only dream of finding in an actual department store.

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It’s the best kept secret in the American Education System, which I think personally is a crying shame. It breaks my heart to think that there are kids under hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt that if given any other option would have gone the community college route, but instead are stuck spending the next decade or more spending their starting paychecks on loan payments when they could have gotten the same if not better education for one mammoth markdown.

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CC’s are nothing fancy or distinguished, but attending one for two years will be just what I need to complete essential general education and get my AA degree in Film Production. During which, I like so many others of my classmates may actually be able to make an income surplus by working through school. Flexible class scheduling is another great plus which would allow students to work a part-time job and gather those real-life adult experiences. Working and saving money will help make the cost of the last two years at a university after transferring several pounds lighter too. From what I’ve heard, being in debt doesn’t sound like any fun, and neither does not being able to drop classes without thousands of dollars go spinning down the drain… yet another plus to cost-effective education.

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This great article that Tom Hanks wrote for the New York Times is one of the factors that changed one of my parent’s minds (I won’t disclose which parent), but I highly suggest you dear reader take a one-click journey if you want to read more on this awesome topic.

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Both Tom Hanks and the input of other’s I’ve heard have made me believe that a thrifted education at a CC is a great option, and the perfect blend of humility and brilliance. I’ve heard some of the best, most passionate professors teach at cc’s because they’re simply more fun.

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My plan is to go to a community college for two years, maybe get an apartment with friends, work part-time and find media internships along the way, graduate with an AA degree in Film Production, go on a mission for my church for 1.5 years, and then finally come back and transfer to a bad-booty Film School and go from there.  The goal is to be debt-free in ten years so that I can be free to travel and work with no recurring green money monster nightmares at night, and Community College will help me get that head start.  I also want the best possible education in my area of interest (Film), and attending a cc gives me a second chance at finding the right film school that I didn’t have a chance to apply to during high school.  I couldn’t be more excited for this chapter of my life that is so close to beginning I can smell the decaf coffee from here.

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If you or someone you love is looking to expand their academic horizons and for whatever reason is hesitant to head straight for the big or Ivy leagues, feel free to pass along this post or any questions you/they might have.

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Stay classy not sassy,
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-SJT
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2 thoughts on ““Sale” Signs are My Favorite (My College Decision)”

  1. You are without a doubt the most amazing high school senior I’ve seen in a very long time. The level of intelligence and maturity you reflect in making your decision and the creativity you showed in announcing your decision leaves me speechless! Your journey will certainly be something to watch and “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”
    Thanks for sharing it with me! Love you, Aunt Carol

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