Photo by Unseen Studio

A Good Reason to Wait for College

Sue Kientz

A coworker of mine originally from India related that as a teenager he wanted very much to go to college at the University of Southern California (USC) and therefore planned to take the requisite exams to apply for American universities. But the day of the exam his car broke down. He got a ride to take the train but all cars were packed as there was a transportation strike. He tried to rent a car or hitch a ride, but this took so much time that once he finally arrived at the test site, the exam was in progress and he had only 15 minutes left to do the 2-hour exam. He did the best he could but he failed to pass. He felt it was ruining his future for so many things to go wrong. He did his undergraduate studies in India, and after that he landed a job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in Southern California, and so was able to get his visa to come to America. After a few years he found that JPL would let him go back to college and get a higher degree. The college program was at USC. So he ended up doing what he had aimed to do. I asked him if there was any difference that was positive in doing the degree later? Yes, he said. If he had been accepted earlier, his parents would have had to pay his USC college tuition. By going via the JPL program, JPL paid. So the “bad luck” was actually good luck, as it saved his parents (who were not wealthy) from having to pay those college expenses.

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