7 Reasons Your Backup School Is The Right Choice For You

So you've ranked your top college options, and are waiting to figure out which one you're destined to attend. You're hoping it's your first choice, but what if it's not? Should you go to your backup school? Spoiler alert: whatever you choose, you'll be just fine. It's terrifying once those applications and essays go out, and you're just waiting to hear back about which college you'll end up going to. Obviously you've done your research and your top choice is your top choice for a reason (probably many reasons), but tons of people have ended up at their backup schools, and are glad they did — myself included.

You never know where life might take you, and in order to be happy, you need to be able to adapt and make the most of what you have, right where you are. Landing at your backup school will give you that skill, and it's a valuable one to learn in your late teens and early 20s. There are countless obstacles ahead of you, so learning to make the most of a less-than-ideal situation now will only help you in the future. And hey, it might even make you more successful than you would've been by attending your top choice school. You never know. Here are all the reasons your backup school is the right choice for you.

1. Less hype often leads to a better experience.

By designating one school to be your top choice and another to be your backup, you automatically start envisioning yourself at the top choice school. You fantasize about the future this top choice school will give you. That's a lot to live up to. By ending up at your backup school, you go in with an open mind, and that will absolutely provide you with a better college experience.

2. It's most likely less expensive.

We tend to hold pricier, shinier objects at the top of our want list, with the less expensive options as the fall-backs. Even if the top choice school has the same exact dollar amount for tuition as your second choice, there are lots of other college expenses you will face, and the overall cost will probably be a little less at the backup.

3. You picked it for a reason.

Out of all the schools in the world, your backup choice did make the cut. Remember that. There are reasons this school stood out to you above all the rest, so don't dismiss it so quickly.

4. Rory Gilmore went to her backup school.

Let's forget about the time Rory took a pause on college for a boy, and remember all the other brilliant choices she made throughout the Gilmore Girls series run. Attending her backup school (Yale) over her top choice school (Harvard) was one of them.

5. Remember that your major will change.

Your top choice might be just that because of the career goals you have right now. But keep in mind that your mind, and your major, will probably change at least once in the next four years, so it's better to attend a school with plenty of options to explore.

6. You will have a blast no matter where you end up.

The memories you make at college will stick with you forever. And it doesn't matter which school you attend. You will make friends, you will make your first grownup decisions, and you'll learn a crap-ton about yourself as a human. The name of the college doesn't change any of this.

7. Ultimately, where you go to college doesn't determine your success.

Your drive. Your determination. Your flexibility. Your network. These are the things that will define your success. If people with nothing can build an empire, then you can certainly do whatever you want in this life with a quality education from your backup school.

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