Friday, December 5, 2008

I Like Helping You

College: My guidance counselor tells me that I need to go visit colleges to see which one "feels right". I disagree. Assuming that you only visit colleges where you are planning to apply/enroll, there are two possible outcomes of a college visit. One is that it will have no effect on your decision to apply/enroll and the visit has been a waste of both your money and your time. The second possible outcome is that you do change your mind about the college and you decide not to apply/enroll there. This is even worse as you are essentially making a huge decision in your life based on a sample size of 1.

To explain how stupid this is, let's say that one day, you find a spider, as you're drying yourself off, you find a spider in your towel. Now, you've never seen anything in your towel at any time before this incident and surely you must have taken millions of showers. Deciding not to go to a college because of a single visit there is like deciding to check your towel for 5 minutes after every shower because you found a spider that one time.

Because of this, most, if not all students who decide against a college based on a single visit are unjustified in their actions.

TL;DR: Both possible outcomes of a college visit are losses. Either you lose money and time or you make a bad decision. There's no way you can win. It's a rigged game.

2 comments:

  1. lol that's not even an original example

    http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/the-dangers-of-n1/

    the idea of the college visit is to do the best you can short of actually attending the school. Face-to-face communication with a large sample of students (i.e. a sample where n =/ 1) is actually pretty valuable.

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