I can be a little impatient sometimes. I think that was at least a little apparent in my first post. One example of this was back in 2007 when I was getting college acceptance letters.
There were three schools that I was seriously considering, and they are the three I applied to: Washington State University, Brigham Young University, and Brigham Young University – Idaho. (A note about BYU-I: it’s not a satellite campus of BYU, it’s a sister school that shares the same name – so they are separate schools and actually do have different degree requirements.)
WSU was pretty quick to get back to me. I had excellent grades in high school and fairly high SAT and ACT scores, so I was accepted. I didn’t particularly want to go there, so I waited to hear back from the others.
BYU and BYU-Idaho also sent me acceptance letters. Now there was some deciding to do. Choosing a college is really hard. At least it was for me. There’s plenty of great schools out there, and there’s no way to just compare some statistic and say “this is the best one.” College isn’t just about a degree: it’s where you spend at least 4 years of your life (5 in my case, since I switched to a different major in the middle). Each college campus has a unique atmosphere and provides a different experience. Sure, it’s possible to transfer to a different school after starting, but that’s definitely not ideal. Worse still, I didn’t have the opportunity to go visit the colleges I wanted to go to. I just had to look at the online tours and hope that they were somewhat truthful.
Naturally, one of the considerations in choosing a school is money. College is expensive, and scholarships help a lot! WSU’s scholarship offer was OK; not great, but not bad. It took a little longer to get BYU-I’s scholarship offer. It was better: full tuition for the first year, with different amounts (up to full tuition again) for each year, dependent on GPA.
There was just one problem. I hadn’t gotten any news of scholarships from BYU yet. Time passed and I still hadn’t heard anything. It was getting to the point where I needed to make a decision so I could arrange housing and make other preparations. I set a deadline: by a certain day I would decide, whether BYU had told me anything or not.
It was hard to decide between BYU and BYU-Idaho. My mother went to BYU, so there was some loyalty there. Also, BYU definitely was (and still is) the more prestigious school, with more degree programs available and a better reputation. I don’t know numbers today, but at the time BYU-I accepted about 97% of applicants (the number is probably similar today). It’s an easy school to get into, and I worried that maybe it would be a dumbed-down experience. Still, they had offered me a scholarship, and I didn’t have any news from BYU.
The deadline came, and I still didn’t have a letter from BYU. I needed to make a choice and I didn’t have all the information I wanted to have. I chose BYU-Idaho.
The funny thing is, if I remember correctly, less than a week later I got a letter from BYU offering me a full tuition scholarship. If I had been a little more patient and set my deadline just a week later, I could have made a very different decision. I don’t know what my life would be like if I had chosen to go to BYU instead of BYU-Idaho. There’s no point speculating either.
I wouldn’t consider going to BYU-Idaho a mistake, but my impatience probably was. I doubt I really needed to decide right then what school I was going to, but I felt like I did. That choice was a good one though, and I enjoyed my time in Rexburg.
Post inspired by today’s Daily Prompt (“Favorite Mistake”) on The Daily Post.