Skip to content ↓

COVID-19

Learn more about how MIT Admissions is responding to COVID-19 in this blog post from our Dean and new dedicated FAQs.

MIT student blogger Bryan O. '07

Home is where the heart (of Texas) is by Bryan

Going away to school isn't such a bad thing.

So I’ve been spending some time in my hometown over Winter Break, and this time, I know it’s probably the last time that I’ll sleep in my bed before I go off and become an adult. It’s kind of strange and at the same time awesome to think that I’m actually growing up and doing my own things.

Coming back to Texas allows me to think about how my MIT experience has expanded my outlook on life and the world. But first, I think you need some context about me and my history.

I’m from “Suburbia”, Texas whereby “Suburbia” I mean for my first year of high school, I lived in one of those neighborhoods where your elementary school was one block away; your middle school was three blocks away; and your high school was maybe five or six blocks away. Since my mom was the only parent and had to work, I walked to and from school most days. I kind of cry a tear for the environment when I think about all the cars that actually made the six block trip. Almost everything was provided for us in our 55,000 resident city-within-a-city, so we rarely had to leave.

For my sophomore through senior years, I spent it at a less-exclusive high school where there were a lot more people and a lot more diversity. When senior year came, most people from my high school decided to stay in Texas for college for one reason or another. I disagreed with a lot of people about their reasons. A lot of the families I knew were deeply set in family traditions. Others wanted to go where most of their friends were going. I and a handful of other people just wanted to see what was beyond state lines and experience something new.

So I did. In late August 2003, I packed up a backpack and two duffel bags and a whole lot of boxes and moved almost 2000 miles from home. No coming home on the weekend to do laundry…that was for sure. Now the MIT environment and surroundings was a lot different then what I’d lived in before. For one, travel at MIT was primarily public transportation. (+1 for the environment). I observed that people walked a lot faster going places. And generally, I feel that the city stays up a lot later than my neighbors back at home do.

So what does this all mean. A friend who I caught up with over break said something to me and it was kind of shocking. “You’ve come back with that New England-er attitude.”

“Excuse me, what?”

So after talking it over, I see that he’d just noticed a change in me that I guess I hadn’t realized myself. Going to MIT forced me to be a lot more independent than I ever was. As the oldest child, I’ve always had responsibilities etc, but quasi-living on your own puts a different filter on it all. In high school, my mom didn’t believe in allowances. I got money when I needed it. In college, I have a set allowance, and I’ve got to handle it myself. And yes folks, Boston IS more expensive than where I come from. Unlike home where my car sits in the garage and I use it to get to A to B. My car at college rests in my closet in the form of my shoes or on a bike rack or at the bus and subway station. Moral of the story: Life is different when you go to college.

But is that such a bad thing?

I mean, college in general is going to put you in a new environment. Changes are destined to happen whether you like it or not. So I guess my piece of advice to you is not to make decisions based on where you think “change will happen the least.” I don’t think that’s going to happen in the long run. Make your decisions based off of the real things…education, opportunity, PEOPLE. I can’t say what it would have been like if I went to a large public university with most of my high school friends. I may not have ever really met as many new people as I did at MIT because I wouldn’t have had to. I also admit that I haven’t experienced the other side of it because I’ve only attended MIT, but I think the experience that I’ve been awarded in moving away and living on my own has really taught me a lot about life and people.

And a word for the parents:
I know that you get worried. I’m 21 years old, and not only do I have to call my mom every day, I pretty much have to call my grandparents every day too. They still worry for me, and I don’t think that would have changed depending on the school I attended. As a child, I realize we’re MAJOR investments, and you don’t want anything to happen to us, but keeping us near by just because it appears to be “the safer option” may not be the right idea. College is about learning, and if an education is what you want your daughter or son to get, then why not let them get an even richer one.

And as always, my blog is a discussion not just my words. So I invite comments from prospective students, parents, my friends at other schools who read this. Disagree or agree. Or just add your own 2 cents. If you have any other questions that you don’t want to post on a public forum, you can email me at bryanblogs [at] mit dot edu.

Happy New Year.

41 responses to “Home is where the heart (of Texas) is”

  1. Chris says:

    Hi, where can I get help for unlock my MyMIT account? I cannot submit my application and the dealine is Jan 1st. I sent email request to techhelp, left message at several numbers, but no luck. I really appreciate if you could help me on this. Thanks.

  2. Bianca '11 says:

    Your college story really resembles what I’ve been going through at my high school. Almost all of the 200+ seniors in my school have decided to either go to a school with their friends or stay within NY state. I was the only one who applied to MIT from my school. I wanted to be different from everyone else and trust my instincts on college choices. Since I live in New York City, I don’t think the transition from Manhattan to Boston should be too difficult. Yet, I’m pretty sure I’ll get lost in Boston a couple of times before I get used to the T train :D.

  3. Bryan says:

    Bianca,

    If you stay away from the Green line, you’ll be fine. There’s like 4 different versions, and I still get lost.

    – Bryan

  4. Jigar says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Bryan. My story also conincides with yours a little. I believe I am the only student from my school who has applied to American University in its history of 45 years. I know its surprising but its true. People tend to go to Canadian Universities and 90% just apply to Universities in Ontario. I want to rise beyond my circumstances and dream like every MIT applicant wink

  5. Rach says:

    I can relate to what you said in many ways, because I went abroad for 10 1/2 months last year. Being away from home is an important part of becoming independent and having your own experiences. I want to leave California again for college, to have other new experiences. Most people I talk to think I’m crazy, because California has really good public universities, which are much cheaper than out-of-state schools. There is more to college life than just the education, though that’s important, too. Like you said, there’s the environment, the people (most people I’ve talked to about UCs say that they room and hang out with people from the same high school). Maybe staying around home is great for some people, but I think that there is still a lot out there to experience when it comes to college, and inevitably the “real world” itself.

  6. jas says:

    Bryan, you are really cool :D

  7. Vanessa says:

    interestingly, thats not at all what I´ve experience – or experience – in my school. maybe its because im german and going to university is different here, but at home nearly everyone wants to move out after school – or already has. maybe im the only one who wants to study at mit or america or something like that, but there are actually quite a couple of people who wanne study in yugoslavia or tschechien or the netherlands – mainly because our university system is different and they wouldnt be able to study their subject in germany because their marks are too bad, but nevertheless they wanne move out.
    i mean, isnt moving out and doind your own stuff a main part of growing up? you cant always live with your parents. im seventeen now and no matter if im admitted to mit or if i have to go to the university of munich, im definitely moving out. not that i dont like my parents because i do, but as i said, you cant always stay at home and be mommied. so there isnt a better time to move out than when you finish high school

  8. Melissa '11 says:

    I see a lot of us are going through the same things here. I, too, and one of the very few in a class of 203 that even applied out-of-state, let alone actually going there! My friends want me to stay here – and part of me wants to stay here, too, with the familiar. I know, though, that I need to get away to grow. It’s going to be hard, but it’ll be worth it.

    Rach, a fellow Californian! Same thing here, people telling me to go to a UC because UCs are cheap and good schools – but hey, MIT’s better =) That and I want to see snow…

    Have any of you listened to the song “Boston” by Augustana? My friends have deemed that my theme song..

  9. Idriss says:

    I come from a little different perspective. I am used to living in big cities and diverse environments so living in Minnesota, and particularly in suburbia, for me has been slow toruture. Sure I’ve gotten used to it but Minneapolis is no Paris. I see college as my opportunity to go back to my “old” lifestyle, where I met new people and my environment was more open. Either way, like you, I hope college will not perfectly replicate my past experiences.

  10. sarah says:

    hey melissa: that’s an amazing song its soooo lovelyy

    my mom doesn’t want to let me out of her sight, she wants me to go to college in the same city so she can “keep an eye” on me — and i’m the most innocent person on earth, i’m not gonnna do anything!

  11. zac says:

    sarah, you should tell your mom to read bryan’s blog. my mom doesn’t want me to leave either. i’m making her read this entry.

  12. faye says:

    I’m from Houston, Texas too :D

  13. Good for you Bryan, for achieving escape velocity! May post-graduate life allow you to continue the learning adventure! And thank you for sharing your story.

    Our youngest is applying to the Institute, and our other 4 kids attended a total of 7 different colleges/universities all over the US, both near and far from home (with some study abroad here and there). Every single one of them found ways to explore (and as their Mom, I’m absolutely sure I haven’t heard all of the stories smile!), no matter where they went. I am sure MIT is filled with adventuresome spirits!

  14. Sorry, lost my train of thought in the last post (I am, after all, much older than a lot of you!). What I wanted to say is that, while it is a big deal for us parents to send our babies off into the world, it is also really sweet and wonderful, and our ultimate goal as parents. That first trip home from college after the first semester/quarter is a little like birth all over again (are all the toes and fingers, etc still there?!), and like opening a long-anticipated present too: What changes have occurred, who IS this little grown-up in my house? and the conversations from this point on are SO much fun–less “be back by midnight” and more “what do you think about such and such?”. Bittersweet when you go away, but so much fun when you come back to visit!

  15. Jess says:

    This was AWESOME. I come from a pretty similar background and definitely relate with you on having a lot of friends who went to schools within the state. I didn’t even end up applying anywhere in CA, because I wanted to leave and experience life so badly. Anyway, you totally said it.

  16. Jon says:

    my mom has mixed feelings about me going to college. As the oldest, this is a first time thing, and she’s petrified….but she’s also excited for me to go. Her excitement never really shows though when she read my application essays and cries….even while reading some of my funny ones. She won’t even let me talk about leaving in August/September. Will she have a breakdown? Probably. Will I be scared/lost/confused/sad? Most definitely. Will we both get over it? Of course!

  17. Zaira '11 says:

    I’m from Texas too and am going through the same thing. I’m from a small city, and most of my friends want to stay in state universities. Although I could probably get a full ride to any of them, staying in state has never been an option for me. It’s not that the schools are bad (they have amazing engineering programs and beautiful campuses), but I’ve always said that in order to make a difference in this world you need to know the world. Going out of state is a great way to know what’s out there.

  18. Lindsay says:

    Woohoo for the California representatives. I’ve had the same experiences with the UCs… they’re good, but what else is out there that I am missing? Of course, there’s always Caltech, (evil snicker). Just kidding. I’m into marine biology, preferably mammology, and of all the interesting things to research, Caltech is busy studying sea urchins. No big thrills there. Woods Hole research lab interests me a lot – what opportunities are there for undergrads? (I saw they had a UROP program, which sounds great, but do you know exactly what they do?) Anyway, nice post, I’m still getting the nerve up to go off into the “great unknown,” aka massachusetts.

  19. Lindsay says:

    Just realized saying UROP program is as redundant as saying ATM machine. Couldn’t let that one stand.

  20. Sarab says:

    You know Brian, you could be jailed. I mean seriously. What you’re doing is torture. EA deferals like me floating around here still, are being given vivid images of the place of our (my!) dreams and then,……

    STOP BLOGGING!!

    Seriously though, I love the idea of being totally self dependent, which Is why I am trying to get to the other side of the planet!

    Now, See y’all in 2007!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Melissa '11 says:

    Caltech’s too close to home for me (a 30min drive). Among other things, I need a change of weather.

    Before someone tells me about “enjoying the sunshine” – living in the desert for 17 years isn’t as fun as it sounds O.O

  22. Amy says:

    I actually had an interesting conversation with my dad the other day. At first he teased me about “wanting to get as far away from my parents as possible” (we live in Oregon), but after a while he got serious and started telling me how if I was serious about getting a career I would need to be open to moving and doing new things. He wanted to be an artist when he was younger, but he refused to move away from our small town, where there’s hardly an art scene, and now he’s a homemaker and sells stuff on eBay. (Which he loves, don’t get me wrong.) But it really touched me that he was encouraging me to move away, even though he knows it’ll be hard for him, because he wants what’s best for me and my future.

  23. Ben Williams says:

    HAHA!!!

    I had some of the same things happen to me when I decided to transfer to North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (in Durham NC). I transferred going into my junior year and most of my friends from my home high school were still trying to figure out how they could get into Appalachian State University (where everyone from my home school goes). I think I am the first person that has stepped foot into my old high school to apply to MIT. I think that every once in a while someone applies to Davidson, but other than that I dont believe many people can think bigger than a couple of in state schools. Luckily I was one of three people that went to Science and Math so the transition was not that bad for me and there are already two people from Science and Math that are accepted and many that were deferred.

    Thanks for the post and letting us know that others go through some of the same things.

  24. Ben Williams says:

    Good luck to all the deferred students like me in the new year.

  25. Guyomar says:

    That was very well-written. I’m from Mauritius, so wherever I choose to study, I’ll be far from home.

    There is only one university on my island, and I don’t feel that it will give me the best education that I can get. Therefore, I chose to apply to schools abroad.

    Many of my friends are applying to universities in England, South Africa, Australia, France, Germany, and so on. Some are even thinking of going to China, Malaysia, and India.

    Not that many students here apply to schools in the U.S. The idea has been gaining popularity here recently, but it’s still relatively new. Most students prefer to go to Europe/Australia because that’s where they have family/friends.

    I don’t agree at all with those who decide where to go to school based on where their friends plan to go/where they have relatives. The purpose of going to university isn’t to surround yourself with familiar faces – the main idea is learning how to use your talents. And because each person has different skills and different ambitions, it’s only logical that the place that is best for one won’t suit another quite as well. By looking only at the schools where you think you’ll feel most comfortable (where your friends are likely to go, not too far from home, etc), you’re limiting your choices, and preventing yourself from finding the school that could best help you develop your poteential.

    But then, I’m always keen to experience new things, meet different people, and see unfamiliar places. Some people learn better when they’re in the same secure environment they’ve known all their lives. For me, going away is a great adventure, something exciting…most people though, seem to feel differently. They worry about how they’re going to get by alone, without any family, and in a totally new place. This hasn’t worried me the slightest. I just say to myself that I’ll settle down, and that things are bound to work out. After all, change is a part of life. I think that many people fear it because they fear the unknown. They don’t like not knowing what’s coming next. I like it most of the time. What would life be if we knew everything in advance?

    Anyway, I think I’ve made my point. smile

  26. Guyomar says:

    Potential not poteential

  27. Melissa '11 says:

    Kris, to each his/her own. Some people are ready, some people aren’t – some people think leaving is important, others don’t see life that way.

    Thank goodness, too, ’cause I’d be bored if everyone did the exact same thing O.o

  28. Kris says:

    That’s sort of the opposite of me. I’ve already applied, but even if I did get in to MIT or Northwestern or Princeton, sometimes I think I might just prefer staying home. I know education is about venturing out, getting the most out of it… But there are some people who just aren’t ready yet. I’m beginning to think I might be one of those people.

    I’m from Fresno, CA by the way smile

  29. theresa says:

    my experience is like everyone’s really, but just a tad bit more — my mom works for the local county college, so I could go there for free if I wanted to. Last year, my parents talked to me and basically said, it would be great if you go there (the county college). Financially, I understand where they’re coming from, but come on! They know my dream school is MIT, and there they are saying, go to county college. Thankfully, I convinced them otherwise (hee hee) — I’m only staying in new jersey as a last resort — I definitely need a change.

  30. theresa says:

    as a P.S. to my post: my parents want to follow me to college — (too bad my mom doesn’t like the cold – haha)

  31. Vu Truong says:

    ‘I don’t agree at all with those who decide where to go to school based on where their friends plan to go/where they have relatives… And because each person has different skills and different ambitions, it’s only logical that the place that is best for one won’t suit another quite as well.’

    What do you mean exactly? You say, ‘I don’t agree with people for doing this,’ but you’re also saying, ‘People have different ambitions.’ That’s contradictory.

    ‘By looking only at the schools where you think you’ll feel most comfortable (where your friends are likely to go, not too far from home, etc), you’re limiting your choices…’

    How is this not exactly what you’re doing? You say that ‘I’m always keen to experience new things, meet different people, and see unfamiliar places’–in other words, you feel most comfortable going abroad. I could very well turn around and say, ‘By only looking at overseas institutions, you’re limiting your choices. Why don’t you think about staying at home? What about your potential?’ It reads to me–I could be wrong, but I parse for meaning, not intention–as though you’re looking at the decisions of others much more harshly than you are looking at your own decisions.

    ‘I don’t agree at all with those who decide where to go to school based on where their friends plan to go/where they have relatives.’

    This could sound a little shortsighted. You don’t agree at all? I don’t think it’s fair to shut down any belief or perspective. There are plenty of advantages about matriculating to a school where a student has relatives. You have somewhere to go during the holidays, and don’t have to spend money on a plane ticket home. You have someone to ask for money in case of emergency. Maybe you really like this family member and you haven’t seen him or her in years. I can completely see how this would be important to some people.

    As for the friends thing, I understand that, too. If I feel miserable at a school, it won’t matter if I’m at Oxford, Harvard, MIT, Tokyo U, Cape Town, or even the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I might not do any work. I might not see the point. My (physical & emotional) health might suffer. Of course, I know myself enough that I’m ninety-nine percent sure that this won’t happen, but I don’t claim to speak for someone else. I agree with you about using university as a way to achieve one’s potential–but I can definitely see how for some students, their potential is best attained in an education close to home. Many people have no problems leaving everything behind, but some of us may just be getting close to our parents and friends for the first time. It’s a choice that they don’t expect us to agree with, but it is a choice that deserves to be respected.

    Lastly, some people just might not have the option to go abroad, period. It is not in me to say that such people are doomed to a life where their potential remains unreached.

    ‘I think that many people fear it because they fear the unknown. They don’t like not knowing what’s coming next.’

    No matter what school you attend or how many family members surround you, your university experience will be largely a venture into the unknown, period.

    Don’t get me wrong–I live my life exactly the way you live yours. I’m willing to travel thousands of miles to MIT if I gain an acceptance, and I’m the only person in my circle of friends who is even leaving the state. I’m not afraid of being alone, and I love to experience new things. At the same time, I don’t claim that my decision is any better than another person’s decision. At the end of the day, I trust that others know themselves as well as I know myself.

  32. Hopeful says:

    It was so nice to read this entry. My life is a lot like yours-my mom, her thoughts, my thoughts, our lifestyle-except for the fact that I come from a small, crowded city in a third-world country. I am also hoping to get into the class of 2011. Wish me luck!

  33. Kelsey says:

    I kinda know how it goes w/ the whole in state application deal with your friends… I come from a school of only 350 kids in Oregon (our average graduating class is about 55-60 students, and a very large majority of our seniors end up going to the state university an hour away because they really don’t care where they go to college. I’m one of maybe a handful of people that are even considering applying out-of-state!

  34. Anonymous says:

    I really have the same experience- I mean for you its the same language, and at least a kind of same “culture”, but for me its a new continent, language, culture,food, everything!
    And if I would be accepted, I still have to make up my mind to leave ERVERYTHING behind, to loose friends and to see my family only one time a year, and calling is very expensive…
    I think its a tough decision, although I ever wanted to go to MIT…

  35. Guyomar says:

    Vu Truong – maybe I wasn’t clear enough. I wasn’t claiming that my way of living was better than anyone else’s. I was just stating my opinion.

    ” ‘I don’t agree at all with those who decide where to go to school based on where their friends plan to go/where they have relatives… And because each person has different skills and different ambitions, it’s only logical that the place that is best for one won’t suit another quite as well.’

    What do you mean exactly? You say, ‘I don’t agree with people for doing this,’ but you’re also saying, ‘People have different ambitions.’ That’s contradictory. “

    By ambitions I meant career-related goals. Different schools will suit different people, depending on these goals. All I was saying was that you don’t choose a school mainly because your friends are going there; the school might be right for them, but not for you. It might be the best to develop their potential, but not yours. So no, what I said was not contradictory.

    “‘By looking only at the schools where you think you’ll feel most comfortable (where your friends are likely to go, not too far from home, etc), you’re limiting your choices…’

    How is this not exactly what you’re doing? You say that ‘I’m always keen to experience new things, meet different people, and see unfamiliar places’–in other words, you feel most comfortable going abroad. I could very well turn around and say, ‘By only looking at overseas institutions, you’re limiting your choices. Why don’t you think about staying at home? What about your potential?'” I’ve already looked into schools in my country. There is only one university. I’ve considered staying at home. And based on what I know about it, I don’t feel it’s right for me. So, I’m not limiting my choices. I have considered all schools, what they can bring me, and then made the decision to only apply to schools overseas. What I meant was that when you DON’T look at all your options, but simply say ‘Oh, my best friend is going to this school, I’ll go there too!’ without finding out as much as possible about all schools you could go to, you’re limiting yourself.

    “‘I don’t agree at all with those who decide where to go to school based on where their friends plan to go/where they have relatives.’

    This could sound a little shortsighted. You don’t agree at all? I don’t think it’s fair to shut down any belief or perspective. There are plenty of advantages about matriculating to a school where a student has relatives. You have somewhere to go during the holidays, and don’t have to spend money on a plane ticket home. You have someone to ask for money in case of emergency. Maybe you really like this family member and you haven’t seen him or her in years. I can completely see how this would be important to some people.”

    Yes, but like I said, I don’t agree with this reasoning. The fact that you have relatives at a particular school shouldn’t drive your decision to apply there. This is just my opinion.

    “As for the friends thing, I understand that, too. If I feel miserable at a school, it won’t matter if I’m at Oxford, Harvard, MIT, Tokyo U, Cape Town, or even the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I might not do any work. I might not see the point. My (physical & emotional) health might suffer. Of course, I know myself enough that I’m ninety-nine percent sure that this won’t happen, but I don’t claim to speak for someone else. I agree with you about using university as a way to achieve one’s potential–but I can definitely see how for some students, their potential is best attained in an education close to home. Many people have no problems leaving everything behind, but some of us may just be getting close to our parents and friends for the first time. It’s a choice that they don’t expect us to agree with, but it is a choice that deserves to be respected.”

    I didn’t mean to say that my choices were better than those of others or that they deserved more respect. I’m sorry if I came across this way. All I said in my post was that I didn’t agree with their choices.

    “Lastly, some people just might not have the option to go abroad, period. It is not in me to say that such people are doomed to a life where their potential remains unreached.”

    I’m well aware of this fact. I wasn’t talking about these people. I was talking about those that have choices but who refuse to consider all of them.

    ‘I think that many people fear it because they fear the unknown. They don’t like not knowing what’s coming next.’

    “No matter what school you attend or how many family members surround you, your university experience will be largely a venture into the unknown, period.

    Don’t get me wrong–I live my life exactly the way you live yours. I’m willing to travel thousands of miles to MIT if I gain an acceptance, and I’m the only person in my circle of friends who is even leaving the state. I’m not afraid of being alone, and I love to experience new things. At the same time, I don’t claim that my decision is any better than another person’s decision. At the end of the day, I trust that others know themselves as well as I know myself.”

    You’re quite right. Again, I wasn’t saying that my decisions were better than anyone else’s. I was simply stating and explaining why I didn’t agree with some people’s reasons for choosing a school. We’re allowed to disagree aren’t we? smile

    Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear enough, and perhaps I sounded as though I thought my way of living was the best. Not at all! I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone. I hope that this time there will be no confusion.

  36. Vu Truong says:

    ‘All I was saying was that you don’t choose a school mainly because your friends are going there; the school might be right for them, but not for you… So no, what I said was not contradictory.’

    Thanks for clarifying. I still find it contradictory. You clearly state that Some Things Are Good for Some People and Other Things Are Good for Other People. At the same time, you say You Do Not Agree with Them and They Are Limiting Their Potential. It’s sort of like saying, ‘Yeah, I like apples and I can see why some people would like oranges–but those orange-eaters really could make better decisions.’ You think it’s okay for people to have different ambitions. As long as no one is being killed or anything similarly drastic, why isn’t it okay for people to have different ways of pursuing these ambitions, ways that might even involve not going to the best school possible?

    I found it contradictory in that sense: you tolerate the fact that people have different drives, but look down on (or ‘disagree with’) their different decisions. If you maintain that it is not contradictory, then I accept your position. This is just how I see things.

    ‘What I meant was that when you DON’T look at all your options, but simply say “Oh, my best friend is going to this school, I’ll go there too!” without finding out as much as possible about all schools you could go to, you’re limiting yourself.’

    This sounds oversimplified to me. Whilst I realise there exist some people out there who would make such a decision, for the vast majority there must involve a multitude of factors that vary from person to person. Responding to what I have said point-by-point is unnecessary; I had one holistic point, and that was that we should respect the decisions of others because they know themselves best. I would never, ever, ever matriculate to a school just because my best friend goes there; as you have stated, neither would you. At the same time, I refuse to be to make the statement that the people doing such a thing are ‘limiting’ themselves. Some of them may be–or not. It’s not my place to say, nor is it in my ability to ascertain.

    ‘Yes, but like I said, I don’t agree with this reasoning. The fact that you have relatives at a particular school shouldn’t drive your decision to apply there. This is just my opinion.’

    There’s no need to italicise; I was using a general ‘you’ and did not refer to you specifically in any way. You (and this is to you specifically) have made it unmistakably clear that you don’t agree; I was not trying to convince you of the contrary. It really is one thing to disagree, and another completely to accuse those with whom you disagree of limiting their own potential and of fearing the unknown.

    ‘I didn’t mean to say that my choices were better than those of others or that they deserved more respect. I’m sorry if I came across this way. All I said in my post was that I didn’t agree with their choices.’

    If that is the case, I am sorry I read your post that way. From my perspective, you could have been a little more sensitive in your disagreement instead of completely dismissive. From your perspective, you must be very annoyed that I read sinister motives into your words when they were simply not there. In any case, if your message was merely that you disagree with such a decision but that your decision wasn’t the be-all-end-all correct decision, then we, in fact, happen to be in complete agreement.

    Again, thanks for restating your position, and I apologise for not correctly comprehending the first time. Good discussion =D

  37. Anonymous says:

    Vu Truong, I think Guyomar is just saying that people should make the best decision for themselves, even if that means leaving family and friends. It seems like you’re just looking for an argument, and you’re just making one by twisting Guyomar’s words. Calm down, buddy.

  38. Vu Truong says:

    The both of us have remained completely civil. I’m sorry if you felt I was argumentative; it wasn’t meant that way and I hope Guyomar doesn’t see it that way. I apologised and looked for common ground multiple times, and I honestly don’t know what to tell you if you expect me to ‘calm down.’

  39. Minh says:

    That was really interesting, Bryan. I have to call my parents most days too. =P

  40. Guyomar says:

    I enjoyed the discussion Vu Truong. I certainly don’t see it as you ‘trying to pick of fight’. I like it when people say what they think, and you argued your points admirably.

  41. Guyomar says:

    Sorry… ‘trying to a pick a fight’