This spring, I was accepted to the University of Southern California as well as UNC Chapel Hill, but I turned them both down to accept a National Merit Scholarship at the University of Alabama. It was a really difficult decision for me, and it took a while to be okay with it. I know that I was incredibly lucky to have so many amazing options, but I'm just wondering if at some point in the future I'll regret not choosing a higher-ranked school (even though it would have put me in nearly $100,000 of debt). I've been told that safety/state schools are what you make of them, but it's really hard to look past the connections, opportunities, and prestige that come with top tier schools. Does anyone who is or was in a similar situation have insight or advice they would be willing to share with me?