You know what is not helpful? Googling, ‘How many law schools should you apply to?’ I’ve read a dozen articles that have each stated with extreme confidence: “15…3 or 4…7…5…10…” AHHHHHHHHHHH!
It reminds me of when I applied for my undergraduate. It was a stressful experience! I knew where I wanted to go (PHC) and I had a strict set of criteria (small, private, Christian) but, even with a guideline, I felt overwhelmed with options. I knew I needed to apply to more than one school, but which ones?
I finally sat down with the ginormous stack of college brochures that I had gotten in the mail or picked up at college fairs. I wrote down all the schools’ names and then threw everything away. It was a great feeling. After that, I went online and worked my way through the list of schools based on their websites. I noted which ones interested me and ignored the rest.
Eventually, I applied to 6 schools. I don’t think I rated them as “reach, target, or safety” schools. I was pretty confident I could get in to all of them; I was more concerned about financial aid. Eventually, I narrowed it down to 2 and attended the one that gave me the most money.
I tell this story for two reasons. One, as a reminder to myself. It was overwhelming to start the college application process. However, it worked out. Things generally do if you apply yourself. I’m pretty alarmed right now looking at all the law school options, but that is okay. With effort, I can narrow it down.
Second, I write this for all the high school juniors and seniors who are also feeling overwhelmed right now. Deep breath, it gets better. How many colleges should you apply to? As many as you want! Figure out what interests you and don’t feel like the world will end if you choose wrong. There is a lot of pressure on you right now to get into school but the reality is, college is not the end of the world. It is not the beginning of the world. It is simply another tool in the journey of becoming the person who you were designed to be. Have fun and be a little daring with your choices. This is your first chance to really go out and experience something radically new!