Searching for the right college is kind of like online dating because you are literally searching for a “match”: a school that matches your personality and a school that passes your check list of everything you want — because you have to get everything you want.
Most of the time when you tour a college, there’s an actual tour and then an informational session either before or after. Personally, I think the information session is boring because all they talk about is test scores and I’m like, I’m sixteen and I have no clue what a 1235 on the SAT means. But when you go on the tour, you get a feel for what the students are like, and you get to picture yourself sitting on that very bench with a cup of coffee before class and going into that very library to do research for your thesis. It’s basically like you are playing “house” but in a school.
What I’ve realized, though, is that it’s very easy to fall in love with a school. It takes me all of three seconds, and I can basically decide if I want to go there or not. So now after twenty campus tours, you are completely head over heels in love with 7 different schools, and you wonder how you’re supposed to choose. But ultimately, you have to realize that whatever school you go to is the path you’re choosing to go down.
For example, I am currently in love with three schools, but they are all over the place. One is in the upper west side of New York City, one is right outside of Seattle, and one is in the heart of Los Angeles. Whichever school I go to basically determines the rest of my life because these three cities present different opportunities. Let’s say I stay in Los Angeles. I’d stay close to my parents and friends, and I’d definitely be happy because Los Angeles is beautiful; but, I’ve lived here all my life, so I wouldn’t be experiencing anything new. But let’s say I go to Seattle. I’m 1,500 miles away from home, but I could spend all my time writing in Starbucks and making Sunday dinner out of fresh produce from Pikes Place Market. Now, let’s say I go to New York. I would be 3,000 miles away from home, but I would be in a huge city with plenty of opportunities to intern at a magazine and write legitimately; and, I could take the subway from the Upper West Side directly into the center of New York City and spend my Saturday mornings in the Upper East Side in Central Park.
I’m sure at this point you’re thinking, What does this article have to do with me? Let me tell you. If you are stressing about college: stop. Because whatever college you get into is the college you’re meant for. I truly believe that the college chooses you, not the other way around. I think you’ll find later in life that the school you went to was a necessary part of your life and your journey. Now what I can’t promise is that the school that’s right for you is your dream school. But, wherever you end up is where you are supposed to be, and you will find the right opportunity at whatever school you end up at. It’s just a matter of what path is laid out for you.