« on: April 13, 2007, 12:40:49 AM »
Which situation would you regret more?
You go to UVA. You struggle a bit more than you thought you would at first as law school is quite an adjustment. Your grades are OK, not top 10 or 20% but solid, definitely in the top half of your class. You know that your school is a t14 and that your job opportunities will be fine regardless, so you're able to use that peace of mine to relax and just focus on getting the most out of your experience. You're still very worried about all that debt though. You had a 45k scholarship that helps, but only makes a dent. Based on a strong resume and the strength of your school's name, you get a summer associate position that allows you to pay off even more of the debt before your out of school and the interest starts to accrue. You get out with your dream of getting a clerkship but there's still plenty more debt to be paid off first, but no lack of impressive job offers with 6 figure salaries that will go a long way towards paying the rest off more quickly. It's not where you want to be though. The work is boring, and hours are long. You are not generally happy where you are, but you have to work the same grind for a few more years. But the light at the end of the tunnel is that if you're persistent, the debt will be paid off, you'll still be young and have tons of mobility to do what you really want, including a clerkship opportunity. There is a risk that you will regret shortly after law school not taking the full ride at BU, being out of most your debt more quickly and not forced into work you don't want to be doing.
You go to BU. You struggle a bit more than you thought you would at first as law school is quite an adjustment. Your grades are OK, not top 10 or 20% but solid, definitely in the top half of your class. There's no need to worry about money, as your debt is practically taken care of. But, you quickly realize that being in the top 50% is not exactly "good enough" for some of the more prestigious jobs you're after, including that judicial clerkship. You do have some strong offers to work for firms in the Boston area, but that's not really where you want to be, but not being in the top 10 or 20% or so of the class (who can count on such a thing?), you realize you will have to do more legwork and networking than your peers ou find a job you at t14 schools. This adds a lot of undue stress and burden on you, but you find a job you think you'll be comfortable with. It doesn't pay the top dollar and its not quite the work you want to be doing, but it pays the bills. There is a risk that you could be sitting there for the rest of your life thinking "what if?" and regretting not taking the UVA acceptance and how opportunities might have been different if you had.
NOW, Im not saying at all this is how things will go (and PLEASE do not confuse it as some sort of anti-BU post, because its far from it. Its more just the same situation many find themselves in, and is ultimately a big part of the way I made a similar decision). You think of what's the worst regret for option A: working harder for a few years to pay back money. What's option B's worst regret? Questioning your decision and wondering how things might have been otherwise. That weighs a lot deeper.
I hope my little thought experiment made sense. You obviously in your heart and gut want to go to UVA. YOUR GETTING MONEY TO GO TOO!! Not as much but thats more than most will get. Take it and look at the long term. Short term pain for long term gain.