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Published June 19th, 2013
Celebrities and Higher Education
By Caie Kelley
Caie Kelley is a junior in high school, a gold medal swimmer, piano teacher, and a co-host/reporter on the radio program, Express Yourself!(tm)

It's a strange headline to imagine: Miley Cyrus attends Harvard University, or Taylor Swift Feels Pressure to Attend Elite College.
Celebrities often claim to be just like average people, minus the money, beauty and fame, but it's pretty hard to believe that they understand what we teenagers go through, especially the numerous academic and social pressures. Can someone like Beyonce or Zac Efron, People Magazine's "World's Most Beautiful People" winners in 2012, understand what it's like for the rest of us?
A huge part of being a high-schooler is the looming doom of college - where the questions "What do you think you want to do?" or "What schools have you been looking at?" never seem to end. And for many celebrities, graduating or even attending college isn't the norm.
Sure, there are the Natalie Portman or Jake Gyllenhaal types, who went to Harvard and Columbia, respectively. But most are more similar to California's former governor and famous actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who attended a small community college in Santa Monica.
Though many celebrities choose to opt out of higher education, others who went to college before they were famous often didn't go to the nation's top universities, instead, opting for many community and state colleges.
With all the emphasis on elite education in today's society, the rich and famous frequently are living proof that the name of your college isn't everything - and that's a hard lesson to grasp when you are a teenager in high school with a whole lot of teachers and adults who say otherwise.
Sure, we all don't want to become famous actors, and going to a good school can certainly help us along our chosen path toward success. But it's not the end of the world if we don't get into a "Top 10" school. It is possible to achieve one's goals without the "Ivy League education" on a resume; celebrity idols in pop culture are an example of that.
I don't think I'll ever find famous people to be entirely relatable to my everyday problems, but the idea that a college name is not a "make it or break it" thing is something I find real comfort in, and hopefully, you do too.

Teen Scene is YOUR voice. If you have something to say or have writing skills and want to be part of our Teen Scene team, email our Teen Coach, Cynthia Brian, Cynthia@CynthiaBrian.com.

The opinions expressed in Teen Scene are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Lamorinda Weekly.

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