One of the best parts of the college application process is that it gives you the opportunity to imagine multiple exciting futures for yourself. Maybe you’ll attend a college with an exceptional study abroad program and launch a glamorous career as a travel writer. Maybe you’ll get into biochemistry, study with an esteemed researcher, and someday find a cure for cancer. Who knows? In that moment, it seems like anything is possible.
When imagining these possible futures, however, it’s possible to get so wrapped up in fantasy narratives that you lose touch with your existing interests, needs, talents, and limitations. This can cause problems down the line if you later realize that that career or life plan isn’t right for you—especially if you chose your college based more upon that dream future than upon what you know about yourself and need right now.
It’s tempting to choose a college based upon who you wish you were, the figure you see in these potential futures, but given the probability that you’ll change and develop over your college years, it’s wisest to focus instead on your current needs, along with finding a school that will offer you room to grow. Read on for my take on why these priorities matter.Read More