Final Thoughts on Choosing Your Dream School



Updated June 8, 2022

You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

Here ends a very long journey of yours. We don’t remember a lot of things that happen in our lives, but there are these key moments that are impossible to forget. Receiving Congratulations! emails from your dream universities are definitely up there on that list. These moments are precious, so do your best to record them in your head as a mental picture, or better yet, take a screenshot of the email and celebrate with your loved ones in the way you see fit. If you didn’t meet your expectations, on the other hand, know that it is OK to feel dejected.

That just shows how much effort you put into this venture. But with time, you will learn to move on to the next. There’s no other option.

We revisited the concept of satisficers and maximizers once again. Earlier in this journey, you learned to be a satisficer. You learned to find a satisfactory solution for a complex world by using limited, critical factors to eliminate the universities to apply to. Now, we need you to do the opposite. Be a maximizer. Your world has been greatly simplified. You only have a few choices in front of you and enough resources to dive deep and find a near-optimal solution. To help you with this process, we spoke about the T-shaped mental model.

The T-shaped model, generally quoted during a hiring process, can be used to dive deeply and explore widely. Dive deep into the factors you had used previously while you eliminated the universities. Write down more use cases for Academia and Career. Reach out to the alumni to learn about their job search. Tease out the other factors that will matter to you, ranging from sport facilities to research assistantships. At the same time, look at a few more factors that you did not consider a few months ago, and collect information on them. Everything you learn must go into the Dream Tracker, so you can make a well-informed decision in the end.

However well-informed, though, the human element will (and should) come into play somehow.

A Little Reflection on The Final Decision

thinkWhat is a miscellaneous factor that you did not consider when you were choosing universities to apply to?

If you had to guess, what’s the human element that helped you make the final decision?

What is something you want your future self to know right now?

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