I’m going to pop your bubble. Ready? There is no such thing as your perfect school. I know this goes against what you may have been hearing since you started learning about college. I know you probably don’t believe me, especially if you have a dream school. You’ve been told that when you find the right school you’ll get a feeling and you’ll just know, but I’m here to tell you that there is more than one college for you, where you’ll get a great education and have a memorable experience. Same thing goes for your first apartment, job, or move to a new city. I think we do ourselves a disservice in searching for just one, solitary option and ruling out the rest instead of focusing on our attitude and readiness to embrace something new.
It breaks my heart when I hear a student say they were not admitted to their dream school and are not excited about any of their other options. As you go through the college process, do not put on blinders to any school that you are applying to. Be open to the fact that sometimes life throws you a curveball and you may end up somewhere you didn’t expect, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be the right place for you. You make the best decision you can with the information you have and move forward confident you made the right choice.
When I was 17, I had very little self-awareness of who I was and what I wanted. You could have thrown me into almost any environment and I probably would have been shaped by it and adapted to blend in there. I often think about how I would have turned out had I chosen a different place for college. Sometimes I think drastically different, others I realize I’d probably be just the same.
Would I have been happy everywhere? Definitely not, but as Tim Gunn says, you make it work and I think we all underestimate that part of ourselves. As you begin to apply to colleges and picture yourself places, stay excited about the possibility of all of them and go easy on yourself if you don’t ‘just know’ quite yet.