March 15, 2017 Nicole Bowden
In high school, the topic college begins to become a prominent factor of many students lives. “Which one am I going to go too?”, “How far away is it from home?”, “Will I be okay with being that far from family and friends?”, and “Does that college have the major I want?”; are some of the very critical questions that should be asked when deciding on where you want to spend the next four years of your education. While all of these are important, another important question that most students forget is “Will I be happy when I am attending this school?”
Now, many students know the college they are attending and what major they want to obtain since they were little. Others are not as lucky. It can be a long and tiring research process for the college you want. Here are some good steps that can assist you to making the decision:
- Dividing your choices into categories:
This is a very helpful tip that can narrow it down to how many colleges that are major choices for you. While this can be categorized in different ways, an example could be dividing it into the top choices that you love. The middle ones that you like and are considering. Then the third category is the last possible ones that you would chose from. This is an effective way into knowing which ones you are definitely considering and know what you can strive towards.
- Taking recommendations from others:
Talking to your counselors, teachers, and even your parents can also help you make the decision. While this may be a very stressful step but it can be useful and effective. It’s important to remember to go into this step with an open mind. These adults can help you get a good mindset and you can create a good mental checklist with talking to them.
- Knowing your academic goals:
This is one of the biggest parts in choosing your college because it’s what you are going to learn in the next four years of your life. Knowing what you want to do with your life career is important. Having this picked out will help plan out the classes you need to take over the next chunk of your education. If a college doesn’t have the major that you want to pursue…Don’t make it one of your options!
- Visiting the schools in your top slots:
When researching your college’s by going onto their websites and looking at pictures can be very deceiving. Going to each of the campuses you are considering attending is important. This gives you the chance to explore the campus, see the dorms, meet teachers and current students, and see the area around the university. Doing this also gives you the chance to see the different clubs and how the campus actually looks before you attend the college in the future.
Although these are critical steps that need to be considered there are also many things you shouldn’t allow to sway your choice. These are some of the most common things that you shouldn’t let decide your overall choice.
- Being a Follower:
While this may sound bad this is something that happens quite a lot: following your best friend to the college they are attending. As fun and exciting as this may sound it is not the best idea for you to do. Your friend may think the college is great but you may not know and could end up being unhappy. You should keep in mind that if they are your best friend, distance and time apart shouldn’t change that status.
- Pushy Parents:
Everybody goes through this whether it be college or another topic, but know that your parents aren’t the ones who are going to be spending the next four years of their life there. You need to think about what you want and what is going to be make you happy.
- Having A One Track Mind:
Thinking that the college you have wanted to go to since you were little is not the greatest mind set to be in. There are many other choices out there and that college may not be the one for you. Now this isn’t saying that you shouldn’t go to that college but to check out your options. The college you may not have thought of good make you happy and fulfill your needs more than the dream one.
With all of these in mind, take a deep breath and try not to stress out over it too much. Everything will work out in the end and it will all work out. You will know the college you want to attend when you get that feeling. Don’t let this part of the process discourage you. Motivation and an open mind are key.