Choosing where to go to college is one of the most difficult decisions you can make in your life. Considering that when most people choose where to go to college, they are barely eighteen years old. At eighteen, which was only a year ago, I remember barely even knowing what I wanted to eat for dinner some nights. Though as difficult of a decision that choosing a college can be, I will share some tips that aided me in choosing the right one.
1. I thought of what I wanted to study and chose the best college for that
I know you may be thinking ” I don’t even know what I want to study” but hear me out. While some universities are better than others, the quality of your education also depends on the college you choose to study at. For example, I knew that I wanted to study something in the area of communications. Since out of all of the schools I got into, the University of Florida had a renowned College of Journalism of Communications, I knew that it would be school to consider. Try this with the area of study you’re considering. Remind yourself that the university as a whole doesn’t always speak for each of it’s colleges.
2. I thought about graduate school
Again, the thought that you don’t really know what you want to do in life was most likely looming through your thoughts as you read the headline. Though considering whether or not you’ll want to attend graduate or professional school should really be thought of now. Although it may seem as though this would be a difficult decision to make, it isn’t. What I did was think of where I wanted to be ten years into the future. I saw myself working at an ad agency or for a digital media company. I knew that working at those places would not require a masters degree, and so I made my decision to attend a college that did not offer me that much money. Since attending a graduate or professional school often requires more money than studying for your undergraduate degree, it is best to try and conserve the amount of money you’ll be spending on your undergrad and save it for grad school. If you will want to attend graduate or professional school consider a college that will offer you the best quality of education for the lowest price.
3. I considered the atmosphere each college offered
Touring each college and examining each of their atmospheres is vital. Being that you’ll be attending a college for the next few years, you should consider the ambiance it offers. Picture a college campus, what is the first image that comes to mind? Does that picture include historical buildings or modern architecture? Does the picture take place in the suburbs or the city? Questions like these helped me make my decision. I knew that when I pictured a college, I saw many trees, large lawns and historical architecture. Also consider the students at the college. If Greek life if a large part of the college will you mind being surrounded by that? If academics are taken extremely seriously, will you want to be apart of that? Questions like these should be answered in order for you to find the college that fits you best.
4. I narrowed it down to 3 colleges
Making this list will be difficult if you applied and got into many colleges. Though narrowing it down to your top 3 picks should make choosing a school much easier. I remember doing this and it was a huge step in the right direction. While you’re not making a final decision, these three colleges should offer the criteria that you just came up with from the tips above. Also make sure to remind yourself that the decision you make does not have to be permanent. You can always transfer colleges after a year or two if you’re dissatisfied. This fact aided me in making my list of the top three colleges since it soothed some of the worries I had about my decisions.
5. I wrote a Pros and Cons list
Now that you have narrowed it down to three colleges, write a pros and cons list for each one. When I did this, it really made making a decision a lot simpler. Since I was able to see all of the positives and negatives that each school offered. Consider the criteria mentioned above, but also your feelings toward each school as well. If a college you are considering is perfect for your area of study, has the perfect atmosphere and is relatively cheap, though you still don’t like it for some reason that is okay. That is why you narrowed it down to three in the first place.
Regardless of the decision you make, know that at such a young age it is okay not to get things right the first time and that you can always try again. Remind yourself this whenever you get overwhelmed with the process and you will most definitely make the best decision for yourself at this moment in time.
Comment down below and tell me where you study or plan on studying!