Dear Family Coach: The time has come for my son to choose a college. He has it in his head that he wants to attend a small rural liberal arts college with limited offerings. My husband and I think this school would be a terrible fit for him. Should we allow him to make his own decision even if we think it’s a bad one? — Grad’s Mom and Dad

Dear Mom and Dad: While it may not seem like it, choosing a college isn’t as important as, say, solving global warming or world hunger. Somehow, American society has evolved to where the most important goal of a child’s first 18 years is to get into the very best college. And the concept of the very best college implies that there is one particular school that will guarantee your child happiness, prosperity and success. I don’t believe that fallacy.

There is no one college for your son. I guarantee there are a variety of good programs for him and that he can thrive regardless of his eventual decision. Maybe this rural college has few options in terms of majors. But maybe that same college has an amazing set of alumni who mentor future graduates in a wide variety of fields. Maybe that small college in the middle of nowhere fosters self-reliance and self-development more than some big city school. And maybe he will have more opportunity to shine at that school (the whole big fish in a small pond thing) than at a big school, where he might get lost in the abyss of talented young people.

Updated: Sat May 13, 2017

Source: Dear Family Coach