If one were to perform an internet search on the importance of choosing a college, one would surely find an overwhelming amount of information stressing just how critical choosing ‘the right college’ is. A recent article featured on Huffington Post argues that, while still very important, the stress we place on choosing a college is at least slightly overstated.

Winnie Ma, the author of the article, argues that there are five reasons why choosing a college isn’t the most important decision ever. The five reasons are as follows:

  • College decisions impact the immediate future, but not necessarily the long-term future.
  • No matter where you go, you’ll be able to gain real-world experience.
  • There are academic and social opportunities at every college.
  • You’ll learn more about yourself no matter which college you attend.
  • It’s not the end of the world if your college decision didn’t go as planned.

The overall upshot of the article is that college choice is lessened in importance because each college does not result in uniform output. Instead, the experience and result of college varies greatly with the decisions students make while still in school. Will you take an internship? Where will you volunteer? With which professor will you work closely? These are often more important than school choice alone, as such decisions better develop your personality, create new aspirations, and shape your work-readiness more than just the name on the diploma.

To be sure, some schools offer huge advantages over others, both in academics and other opportunities. However, even your ‘safety school’ will provide ample opportunities to pursue a path and self-actualize. So, as you decide on a school this spring, remember that the next four years to come are more important than the school choice itself.