Why it doesn’t matter what school you go to

For transfer students and freshman university applicants, this time of year when schools are sending out application decisions is one of the most stressful. Personally, I have been sitting on the edge of my seat for the past couple of weeks, extremely nervous when checking my email inbox or getting the mail, and having a mini panic attack every time I receive any email related in any way to a school that I applied to.
The only thing that has been getting me through this is the affirmation that regarding my future, it doesn’t actually matter that much if I don’t get into my first choice school. Instead, it is the choices that I make along the way which will determine how my life ends up.
It is unfair that a lot of schools are given bad reputations. Schools may have bad classes and professors, or maybe certain programs aren’t comparable to the ones at other universities. But most of the time, every school is going to have its problems and there aren’t actually schools that are exclusively bad, even though they may be given a bad reputation. It really comes down to the indivual student and the programs or majors they are personally interested in.
However, I do think that the concept of a “great” school exists. By that, I mean the kind of school where only a number of differentiated students are accepted and the majority of programs and professors there are absoluteluy spectacular. This is the only time that I think the school a student goes to actually makes an impact on the education they walk away with. The issue is that usually a very small number of students are actually qualified enough to attend universities with such high stature. So for the majority of applicants, those kind of high ranked schools are unfortunately not an option and can be disregarded when applying.
So, for people with resumes and decent GPAs, the question still stands whether it actually makes a difference what school they attend. Of course, there are deciding factors like location, campus, clubs and programs, friends, family, housing and financials that are important when deciding what schools are the best fit. However, all of those, except for financial reasons, are short term issues that probably aren’t a huge deal and aren’t really worth stressing over.
No matter what school, there will most likely be a place that anyone will be able to fit in, whether that be a group of people, a certain club, program, or a fraternity or sorority. And from all the people I have talked to who attended university, I have actually never once heard somebody say they had a particularly bad college experience at any school.
While it sometime may seem like one’s fate is dependent on one or two admittance essays and how teachers objectively judged their student’s performance throughout four years in high school, that isn’t completely true. In the long run, what really matters is the choices individuals make after high school or college, not at which university one ends up.