By now most of you have chosen the college you will attend next fall. You’ve survived the application process, endured rejections and wait lists, weighed prestige with price, and informed friends and family where you are going and where you are not going. Now you are living with the choice you made.
I heard once a startling statement: I never make a bad decision because I always make my decision the best. That’s exactly what you have to do now.
One step toward making your college choice the best one is to know and remember every college, no matter how small, large, known or not known has top faculty, interesting programs, niches of unusual experiences, wonderfully intelligent students, and students with a wide variety of backgrounds. What you have to do is find them and connect. These finds will make your college experience.
Another step in making your college choice the best choice you have ever made is to make sure the minute you land on campus you push yourself to be involved and do your best. Join clubs and activities, talk with professors, do your best academically, and go to programs from poetry readings to concerts. Take interesting classes, both hard and easy. Connect with people beyond your small sphere of dorm and classroom.
Finally, remember success is defined in many ways. Maybe this choice of college you have made will allow you to earn a degree with less debt than if you have attended an Ivy League school. Perhaps, you can take more classes and finish your programs early at a large public university which you could not have done at a small liberal arts school. Maybe the school that is less known will actually have an amazing variety of programs and people you will get to know and take part in. Any of these accomplishments can mean a successful college experience.
A decision is only as good as you make it. It’s really not as important where you go to school as what you do when you get there.