KEEPING THE DOORS OPEN

Hello readers! This month’s entry is supposed to be about my top 5 colleges, but I’m already in college so my answer would be considered biased. 😉 However, I do remember how I felt a mere year ago. Looking back at last February and March’s entries, I was nervous and scared for what was to come.

To be honest I never believed in a “top 5” per say. By March of last year, my dream school had already turned me down during early decision. All the others were ones I liked but refused to be emotionally attached to. I seemed to plan it this way in my mind. When I went on college tours, I vowed never to buy a sweatshirt until after my acceptance and commitment to the school. No point in hurt feelings every single time I pull on a sweatshirt of a school that isn’t really mine.

At this point in the process, there was no point in brooding over which school I liked more. Applications were already sent in. I had done my research. All my schools were strong in what I wanted to study. Some were in the city, some in more rural suburbs. Large, small. Public, private. Out of state, in state. I had a large variety. I had options. Wherever I would end up, I knew I’d be in a good place.

I had learned something by this point: there is not only one path to success. Don’t limit your options. Don’t expect the world to follow the perfect path, for there are many ways to reach success. College or no college, passion, motivation, and hard work will help you reach your goals. Granted most people choose college as an opportunity to learn more and to realize one’s goals before being thrown out into the world to achieve them, but any college that values what you want to study is good enough if you’re comfortable with the environment! My point is this: believing in a “top 5” would limit your outlook on which path leads to success. Trust me. You’ll be more satisfied for the acceptance letters that roll in if you don’t rank your colleges. Thereafter, every acceptance is another open door.

But if there is no top 5, how does one make a decision? With a few open doors, which one do you choose? This is where not having a top 5 comes to your benefit. Let’s say you receive a large scholarship to a safety school that you had not seriously considered before. Do you just let that go? Top 5 or not money is a major consideration because education is a serious investment. What if you could graduate early at one school, but need to stay the full 4 years at another? There is no way to rank the top 5 without considering many external factors that you may not know of until the acceptance letters are sent.

Maybe it’s just my philosophy to keep my options open as long as possible. Rather than judging schools before knowing the whole story, I urge you to wait and see what each school has to offer you. Rank your schools only after you know where you can go.

Best of luck,
Ashley

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