Tomorrow, Mowgli and I are going to North Carolina to look at his top two college choices--Davidson College in Davidson just outside of Charlotte and Guilford College, just outside of Greensboro. Both are very small liberal arts colleges with very different reputations. I think he's prepared to like both of them and is afraid that he won't like them. If this trip eliminates these two, the next two are Vanderbilt in TN and William and Mary in VA. He hasn't heard back from either of them, yet--letters don't go out until early April.
I remember going through the process of choosing a school and being completely mystified by it. (In those days, you didn't get nearly as much help with the decision as kids get now.) My first choice was Wake Forest--I knew absolutely nothing about it and have no memory about why I wanted to go there. I think it was because it was a Baptist school outside of Texas. My dad steered me away from going so far away and also from my second choice, a fundamentalist/dispensationalist school in Dallas (thank you, Dad!!). In the late fall of my senior year, he took me to a football game at Baylor and I was completely thrilled. In fact, Baylor was the only school I applied to and I never regretted the decision in any way.
As you know, we love Baylor dearly and have been brainwashing our kids since they were old enough to wear green-and-gold onesies. Both share our interest in Baylor (especially Mowgli, who follows Baylor sports pretty closely, bless his heart) but neither kid wants to go there. Mowgli went for a college visit and came home saying, "It's a combination of CLHS and church," which isn't exactly true but I can see where he gets it.
On the one hand, Mowgli's decision about where to go to school feels incredibly momentous, as though it will determine the details of his future, which of course, it will. On the other hand, there is no perfect choice and anything he decides will have its own unique combination of advantages and disadvantages. That takes the edge off some of the anxiety for both of us.