When You're Not 100% Sure

I applied and was accepted to six schools, but could only afford two without going into debt. Since one of my goals for college is to graduate without debt, I was down to School A and School B. They are both public in-state schools, and I was accepted into both honors colleges.

I’ve already paid my $100 intent to enroll deposit to School A. I like a lot of things about it, and because I am an exploratory student it only makes sense to go to the school that has a stronger academic/international reputation and a wider variety of programs that better tailor to my interests and potential ambitions.

However, there are some things I’m giving up by not attending School B: The student population is less than half that of School A, and I know I could get more personal attention there. I also prefer School B’s dance program over School A’s. I would like a minor in this field (but am not talented enough/solely focused on it enough to pursue a BFA), but I still feel like I would fit better at School B for this specific program. I did apply for a full ride at School B, which would have sealed my decision if I received it. Instead, I received a couple smaller scholarships there that were just enough to make my question my decision to attend School A. Before, the cost of attendance at both schools would have been the same.

It’s not that I plan on completely changing schools after I’ve already announced my intent to attend School A (to the school, on social media), it’s just that I’m worried about what I’m missing out on: A more intimate environment, a (potentially) better fit in a program that’s important to me, even if it’s only one. However, my counselor, mentor, and parents all agree with me that School A fits my long-term goals better academically and opportunity-wise, as well as my desire to live in a nicer city with a more diverse community. It’s just all very surreal right now and I don’t feel like I’m in the best state of mind to make the decision I just made today. Any words of advice and comfort are very much appreciated. I would love an outside perspective.

As far as “feel” goes: I’ve been to both schools three times each: School A over the span of 3 years in 3 different seasons and School B over 1.5, all in late fall-mid winter. I took two official tours at School A and competed in an academic competition, while I took one tour at School B (where I was distracted by a chatty prospective student) along with an audition (just to get a feel of the program) and an interview. The weather was gorgeous at School A all three times but was unfortunately gloomy at School B the past two times I went. It’s kind of frustrating that I came on bad days because I’ve heard how much about the campus’ beauty. Students at both schools were friendly and helpful. Same goes for graduates from both schools and those I know who will attend this fall.

Trade offs are a part of this process and indeed many times you are going to encounter tradeoffs in your future. You usually can’t have it all. You usually don’t have perfect knowledge. You just have to go for the best choice you can in your situation and make the best of it.

I admit I skimmed this but I didn’t really see a question.

If you simply flipped a coin for it and it came up for A, would you want to flip again?

In the beginning you have two equally good alternatives.
You pick one. Then you invest time and effort in living with that choice.
After a little while it becomes your own. Your experience with that person/place/thing enriches its value to you. This will happen with either college you choose, IF you immerse yourself into whatever it is that appeals to you about it. So don’t fret too much about the choice. Look forward to what happens after you make it.