Right now, all of you high school seniors are nearing the big deadline. Maybe, for you, the decision was easy, and the deposit was sent in ages ago. For some of you, though, this is something you plan to be sweating until the very end.
It was three years ago that I had to make my fateful choice. I had come from a small public high school in MA, and I hadn't expected to get into any of my top schools. I applied to nine, including several Ivies and good ol' MIT, and was shocked when I got into 8 of them. My plan of just accepting the best school that would take me was no longer feasible. I had options, and while I fretted, everyone felt that they had to weigh in. The worst were the comments of "but this is a good decision to have!"
Sure, this was a good decision, but it didn't make it a painful one. I ended up driving around crying for more than I care to admit. In the end I chose Olin, shocking people enough that it was mentioned incredulously during senior assemblies. How did I pick? I figured out what it was that I valued about college.
I knew I was going to get a good education at any of these top-tier schools. So, moving on: whom did I want to spend four years with? How did I want to learn? Was being 20 minutes from home going to be as terribly awkward as I suspected? (Answer: not really)
This, then, is my advice to all of you students on the fence. Figure out what really matters to you in your school. What school does that the best? Make a pro/con list. And if there's a school that you have a gut-feeling about, go with that gut-feeling. Did you feel like campus was home? Did you find the people annoying or wonderful? Most of you getting into Olin will have choices, and probably hard ones. Break it down to the basics, and see what really matters to you. Forget about name or obligation- go for happiness.
Remember- if you ever want to chat about these things, you can always check out my author page (or anyone else's) for contact info. Good luck!