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IVCC ED Rivals University Level

Josh Wray, IVCC Alumnus

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DEAR EDITOR,

I’m not sure if it is policy to allow non-staff writers oreven non-IVCC students to submit to the Leader, but, if you’ll take it, I have something to share-

To my fellow community college students: don’t be afraid.

Almost three years ago, I felt like I had been downgraded to a life lesser than the one I had planned in high school.

I reached for the Ivy League, but life took me off of thatpath, at least for a while. I ended up at IVCC where I met people who became some of my best friends and where I did things that I now look back on lovingly.

But, alas, IVCC ends for all of us, and the next step can woefully intimidating.

For me, the plan was to simply continue on to finish mybachelor’s degree and hopefully turn that into something successful in the fast-approaching real world.

I was sure my previously desired future at Stanford or Yale was now far out of the realm of possibility, but I was wrong.

I can’t remember exactly what made up my mind, but I decided to go for it again. So, when application season came around, I took my second shot and ended up with a gener-ous financial aid package at one of the top universities in theworld: Washington University in St. Louis.

I was thrilled. I was emotional. I was terrified. How couldI perform at WashU?

Other students there went to special preparatory schools.Other students there took 10 AP classes in high school. How could I hope to keep up with the geniuses that attend thisinstitution?

Well, I do it everyday.
I learned after my first semester that I had nothing to fear. My classmates are definitely smart, and my professors are

world-renowned experts, but I am, by all accounts, success- ful.

I can still get A’s on exams, I can still lead discussions in class and I can still hold intelligent conversations with my professors.

To anyone who didn’t know my story, it would seem like Iwas just as qualified to be there as any one of the other 7,000 undergrads. The secret? I am.

When I first arrived, I was afraid I would be woefully be- hind the curve, but I soon learned that nothing about my history was holding me back.

My education at IVCC was just as good as, and in somecases better than, the equivalent at WashU.

I was just as prepared and driven as any other WashU stu- dent. My worries were futile. So, I am here as a WashU junior preparing to write an honors thesis and apply to graduate programs at Stanford and Yale (and Berkeley and Michigan and Northwestern…) telling you that community college stu- dents can do it.

We can make it to the top. You can make it to the top.

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IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College
IVCC ED Rivals University Level