minh-85Regular decision date for most colleges is just around the corner. There’s not a lot of advice I can give about what to do during this awful wait (just relax and remember to breathe), so I’ll talk a bit about what to do after the decision date.

If you’re lucky enough to get into your top choice and just knew from the bottom of your heart that the school was right for you–then great! Congrats! I’d still check out the other options, though, especially if they offer free fly-outs. It doesn’t hurt to be more informed.

If you didn’t get into your top choice, it’s okay. There are more than one (or two, or three, or four) great universities out there. Furthermore, a rejection is really not some profound reflection of who you are as a student or as a person. The college selection process is far from perfect. For some very competitive ones, it’s even a bit arbitrary. I recall reading some article published awhile ago about this very topic. It contained a sound-bite of admission officers talking about the selection process, and they admit that sometimes the difference between a rejection or an acceptance boils down to just a few lines in your essay that for some odd reasons they liked or that stood out to them. So, in short, it’s okay, life’s got bigger problems in store, and you might end up really liking your other choices.

In any case, you’ll probably be making some tough decisions in the next few months. Do I pick the school that offers me more money? Do I pick the school that’s closer to home? Will I like living the city/suburban/middle of nowhere life? How do I know this is the right choice?

I had to go through all these questions as I was trying to decide between two schools that I really and equally loved. Before visiting the schools, I spent a lot of time researching them (lots of Googling), and talking to teachers, friends and family, hoping to reach some kind of epiphany. When that didn’t work, I hoped that the epiphany would come when I stepped foot on the right campus. When that didn’t work, I went back to more researching and talking and thinking.

In the end, I flipped a coin. It sounds bizarre, I know, but I realized that whichever choice I made, I’d still regret the other choice, and all the thinking, talking, and researching doesn’t seem to make a difference. Of course, I’m not suggesting you guys all go flip coins just to avoid all the researching and thinking. It is a very important decision, and you should give it as much thought as possible (I didn’t make my decision until the deadline). So, in a very roundabout way, what I’m trying to say is that you might not find the answer to the question, “How do I know this is the right choice?” It’s difficult to truly know whether or not you really like a college. I’ve been in college for a semester and a half now and I’m still figuring out all the things that I like and don’t like about the school. Luckily for me, overall, I really love it here.  And I’d like to think that I’d love the other place, too, but just in a different way.  By sharing this little story, I hope that it will take the pressure off a little bit, knowing that it’s okay to not be 100{53c6eff5ce19621f7316832cfedf08caab022021f1679c62c3f44b8900ceaf72} certain about the choice you’ll be making.

Best of luck!