Crushes: A new way to think about Reach/Match/Safety schools.
You could say that I’m a bit biased when it comes to school classifications
So as to not beat a dead horse, today I’m going to explain how I feel about school application classifications in a context we all can understand: Crushes and Relationships.
The Lottery School: Your celebrity crush
They’re the dream, the ideal, the one everyone wants. You want it, maybe more than anyone else, but it’s just not realistic. You know it’s just a dream… but they’re so perfect.
Just like you probably won’t marry Benedict Cumberbatch, you probably won’t get into this school. It was a pipe dream, you know that, but you couldn’t help but try.
The Reach School: The Prom King/Queen or Your best friend’s hot older sibling
You know this one so well. Maybe you grew up idolizing them from afar. You know you don’t really have a chance, and you’d need crazy amounts of luck and skill to pull it off, but maybe-just maybe, you might succeed.
Just like this seemingly unattainable crush, someone is bound to get into a reach school. It might be you. But your chances are slim. You take a chance on this one, but you can’t really expect a positive outcome, or you might find yourself getting crushed.
The Match School: Your close friend who you have a thing for
They’re comfortable. They have everything you could possibly want. You have a feeling that they want you too. You haven’t pined after them for your whole life, but you’re excited about this anyway. They’re not the dream WOW everyone is so impressed thing, but every single person who hears about it goes “oh that makes a ton of sense.”
Just like this relationship, it’s the most likely outcome. It’s healthy, supportive, and will make you happy- it’s just not what you dreamed of.
The Safety School: The one in the friend-zone
They want you. They’ve made it very clear that they want you. But you’re ambivalent towards them. You’re going to keep the option open in case you need a fallback, but if you’ve played your cards right in other places, you hopefully won’t end up with them.
Just like someone you place in the friend-zone, you can’t turn down your safety school and need to have a fallback. You’re very nice to them, but they’re the absolute last choice.
Maybe these analogies will help get what my definitions of these schools are.
To me, a B student applying to all of the Ivies is like a normal small-town girl who thinks she’s going to marry one of the members of One Direction.
It’s just not going to happen.