Putting all your eggs in one basket

Applying to multiple schools gives you options when life throws you curveballs.

Mar 4, 2016

You’ve probably heard the saying: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” but is this good advice? The idea behind this saying is that you shouldn't risk everything on a single venture, or put all your hopes and dreams into one thing.

Why? Because what if that one thing doesn't work out? What if you put all your eggs in one basket, and then that basket gets run over by a truck? There go all your eggs. If you spread out your eggs in a few different baskets instead, you're more likely to end up with a few good eggs in the event that something goes wrong.

When I was preparing to apply for university, I learned firsthand the value of this advice.

The Plan

When I graduated high school I knew that I didn’t want to go to university right away, so I took a Gap Year to work and travel. This gave me a lot of time to figure out the path I wanted to pursue and to consider different schools that could help me get where I wanted to go.

I weighed the pros and cons of each school I was interested in attending, and determined in December that my top choice was to move out of my parent’s house in Calgary to pursue a Bachelor of Management at the University of Lethbridge.

Applying to Multiple Institutions

In January, I went on to and applied for early admission to the University of Lethbridge. I was stoked about moving to Lethbridge, but my parents pushed me to apply to at least 3 different schools so that I’d have a backup plan if I didn’t get into my top choice.

I decided I’d humour them, so I applied to two business programs closer to home: one at Mount Royal University and the other at the University of Calgary. At this point, I wasn’t expecting to hear from any of the schools for another couple months so I kind of put it out of mind for the time being.

The Curveball

Then, that same month, I was laid off from my job and was having trouble finding another job that I enjoyed doing. Since that was the case, I didn’t end up working for 2 months.

Suddenly, I went from adding to my university savings account to a position where I needed to dip into it.

As the acceptance letters started coming in I decided it would be a good idea to make a budget for my year ahead, anticipating that I’d be moving to study at the at University of Lethbridge. But as I added up the money I’d saved and subtracted all my expenses, I realized that I wouldn’t have enough to support myself… I’d either need to get support from my parents or apply for a student loan. Neither option appealed to me.

Reassessing the Situation

This was when I started reassessing my situation and weighing the pros and cons of the different schools I’d applied to again. Boy, am I thankful I listened to my parents’ advice. Although the U of L was initially my top choice, the major bonus of enrolling in either of the programs in Calgary was that I could live at home and not pay for rent or food (plus I love my mom’s cooking). This meant that I’d be less strapped for cash and I’d be able to see my friends more often.

I started looking further into the business programs I applied to at MRU and U of C and they both seemed like they’d provide me with an excellent education. Eventually I decided to enroll in Mount Royal University, and looking back on it now I’m extremely happy with my choice.

While MRU wasn’t necessarily my first choice, I’m glad that I applied to a few different institutions so that I had the flexibility to choose the path that was most comfortable for me.

A lot can change between the time you apply and the time you actually enroll in a program. By applying to multiple schools, you keep your options open in case your circumstances change. What might not have been on your radar before may soon become your best option depending on how things change from the time you apply til the time you enroll.

Turns out that old saying rings true.


Mount Royal University

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