I still remember the comments I got when I chose to attend the University of Alabama for my undergraduate career.
"It's just a football school."
" Oh, so you're going to be a hick now?"
"Why would you choose there when you into so many higher ranked universities?"
"Wait, they actually do academics there?"
It was hard to push aside those comments and not let them interfere with my excitement about college. So, for everyone who doubted me for attending the University of Alabama, here is what happened:
I received so many opportunities early on in my college career that I may not have at a higher ranked university. I joined a research lab in my first year of college. I was accepted to the STEM MBA program and will graduate with two degrees in four years. And, even after attending my lower ranked university, I managed to get accepted into nine veterinary schools.
Despite not attending a top-10 university, I managed to be successful, and you can, too.
In my opinion, it is not about what school you attend, but what vision you have for the future and how you spend your time while you are at your school.
You can attend a top ten school and graduate still not knowing what you want to do with your life. You can attend a lower ranked university and have a job set up straight out of college.
The outcomes that happen are because of you and your drive and your passions, not the ranking of your university.
All colleges are going to have opportunities to offer you, whether it be clubs, research, Greek life, religious foundations, or even employment opportunities. However, no matter where you go, no one is going to hand you opportunities on a silver platter and say, "Here, just take them."
No matter where you choose to attend school, you are going to get out of it what you put into it.
If you search for opportunities and take advantage of everything in your path, you will be successful. If not, you will regret it, no matter what type of university you attend.
College is a time to explore what you want to do and to discover your passions.
And you can do that at any school you decide to attend. At the end of the day, you need to choose the school that is going to make you happy — not your best friend or your neighbor or your high school teacher. This time of your life is all about you, so embrace it.