From Princeton, MIT, Harvard & Yale to Oxy, Bard, St. John’s & Reed

Most college bound students have a dream college and I often wonder what defines the dream. We are, I think, naturally self-conscious creatures which is not to suggest people can’t also be confident, but we all base our opinions, to some extent, on what we’ve heard from others. And even when our opinions deviate from the norm, that’s still in fact, based on what we’ve heard from others – we don’t like what they have to say.

So, where is this going? This is where. I just saw a list, The Top 10 Dream Colleges For Students, with no surprises of course, yet it provided a clear reminder that we are still trying to conform to something that is not one-size-fits-all. We are still self-conscious about the name of our college.

The idea of a dream college stems from that one time “someone told me I was smart” or “my mom’s boss, who went to Stanford…” or “when our teacher took us to USC” or “when Elle in Legally Blond went to Harvard” or “when someone gave me a Yale sweatshirt”. The fact of the matter is, all the aforementioned institutions are remarkable for some students – what’s sad, however is how so many college bound students go to extremes to try to make themselves a fit for these dream schools and then miss out on other remarkable institutions that want exactly what those students already possess.

By now it’s no surprise to our readers, we advocate looking beyond the quintessential dream school to find your dream school. Case and point – student’s dream changed from Princeton and MIT, Harvard and Yale to Occidental, Bard, St. John’s and Reed. How? He honestly evaluated his priorities, passions, quirks and needs and then found the latter four schools made sense, they got him.


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Filed under College Access, Parent Resources

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