They say the hardest part of the college application season is waiting. As a high school senior, I agree… for the most part. See, no one tells you that there is a difficult part of the college application that comes after all the waiting, which is choosing a university among all the places you’ve been accepted. With the constantly evolving future, the world needs qualified people to become the leaders of tomorrow and progress our education as a society forward. In many cases, a college degree is required to apply for jobs. When most people apply to colleges, they automatically set their sights on big-name schools with larger-than-life reputations and tuitions that cost an arm, a leg, and your first born child. However, the focus of choosing a college should be on choosing the RIGHT school. The last thing you need is to saddle yourself with thousands of dollars in debt for a miserable experience at a school.
Being a high school senior and going through the college application process has been stressful, to put it lightly. But now that all the letters have come in, the weight of my decision weighed heavily. As of a few days ago, after much deliberation and weighing, I committed to my second choice university and am eagerly awaiting my attendance in the fall. Knowing that where I go is an important decision and I made sure to carefully consider all my choices to select the option that is best for me. My advice is as follows for choosing the right university:
-Conduct in-depth research about the schools. The only way to narrow down the number of colleges until you find the right one is to eliminate the colleges that aren’t right for you. Whether it is for financial reasons, the availability of your desired major, the location, or even the atmosphere of the school, those are all indicators of if you belong at that school.
-Go on a tour. Going on a tour allows you to get a feel of the campus. Seeing dorming options and the cool spots on campus can give you an accurate indicator of the vibe the campus strives for. An old college counselor gave me a tip for sensing the atmosphere of a particular school. She told me to visit a college that I am interested in and find a bench on campus somewhere. Once I find that bench, I am supposed to sit there, without using my phone or distracting myself, and imagine attending that school. She suggested to soak in the environment and I find that a useful trick to determine if the school is somewhere.
-Speak to a former alum about their experience. You can research about all aspects of campus life and go on tours of the campus, but one of the best ways to truly understand what a day in the life is like at a college is to speak with former alumni of the school. Be sure to consider questions about classes, school atmosphere, campus life, living on dorms and other subjects when speaking with alum. They are a wealth of knowledge and can easily provide you with information (good and bad) that you might not find anywhere else.
-Don’t linger on the rejections. When choosing between colleges, it can be difficult to let go of a prior rejection especially if you missed out on your dream school. Instead of letting that disappointment get you down, remind yourself that you got into amazing schools and that you will end up where you are meant to be. The schools that accepted you saw something that they knew they wanted and they knew that their school would be better because of that special something you bring to their campus.
Choosing the best college for you is a huge milestone in your life. College serves as a formative experience for many people and is a place where you can reinvent yourself. To do that, you need to be in the best and most accepting environment possible. That’s why choosing your college is so crucial to not only your academic enhancement but your personal growth. Not to mention, if you’re paying an arm and a leg for this experience, you might as well pick the best one you have.
Teenagers With Experience is an online platform ran by teenagers for teenagers. We provide support through sharing our own experiences and providing advice based from this. If you need support, feel free to reach out to us on one of our social media platforms. We will do our best to support you and if we feel we cannot we will direct you to more suited, professional support.