I always thought college labeled you. If you go to a prestigious school, you’re definitely smart and you’ll definitely flourish in life. If you go somewhere with a 50% acceptance rate or above, you’ll have a harder time succeeding. And that’s where I made all my mistakes.
During my senior year of high school, I applied to eight schools total: four 'hard' schools and four 'safety' schools; I was accepted to all 'safety' schools and two 'hard' ones. But just like that, I ruled out all of the 'safety' schools simply because they weren’t ranked high enough and, to be real, it wouldn’t look as prestigious in my Instagram bio.
Which was definitely a mistake.
I was deciding between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Northeastern University, and in the end I chose UNC. However, throughout the whole decision process, I forgot that a prestigious title doesn’t exactly mean the school is going to be the best fit for you, and I ignored almost every other factor that goes into picking your college.
So, here’s me telling you not to do that.
Going to UNC definitely wasn’t a mistake, but I do wish that I’d weighed my options better before choosing a college. As it turns out, I often find myself wishing that I’d attended one of my safety schools, because overall, it was probably a better fit for me, anyways.
College isn’t about going to the hardest school you can possibly get into; you go to college to get an experience unlike anything you’ve ever had before. You go to college to make friends, to have an adventure, and most importantly, to be happy. Obviously, the point of college is to get an education, but get that education somewhere that makes you excited to get up every morning, not somewhere that’s only going to look good on a diploma or on a resume four years from now. Your future happiness is in your hands—seize the opportunity to create a great life for yourself, one that you’ll be thrilled to live every single day. In the end, what else could you ask for?
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