You’re not perfect, and neither is your future college

There's a great line in my favorite movie, Good Will Hunting, in which Will's psychologist says this about Will's new love interest:


You're not perfect, sport.  And let me save you the suspense–this girl you've met, she's not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you're perfect for each other. That's the whole deal.  That's what intimacy is all about. You can know everything in the world, sport. But the only way of finding out that one is by giving it a shot."

That's a lot like how finding your college match works.

I talk a lot about college matchmaking and finding schools that fit you.  But I don't believe in collegiate soul mates (at least not until you've officially dated one for awhile).

If you're applying to college, you might believe that you've found the one perfect college for you.  But trust me ("sport"), it's not perfect.  No college is.  And it's not the only one where you could be happy.  There are dozens of colleges who's characteristics are similar enough on paper that you couldn't possibly tell the difference between them. 

Wherever you end up at college, there are going to things you like and dislike about it.  But if you choose carefully and then commit to making that four-year relationship work, your chances of looking back on the experience as one spent at your collegiate version of a soul mate increase exponentially.

So don't worry about finding the perfect college.  That would be like evaluating potential dates based on whether or not you want to marry them–you couldn't possibly know for sure.  Instead, accept the uncertainty and concentrate on choosing your list of colleges carefully.  Just as you shouldn't necessarily date anyone who asks, you shouldn't apply to any college just because it looks nice or because other people seem to like it.  Think about what would really make you happy.  Do your research.  Visit colleges campuses.  Enjoy how many great potential matches there are.