As the college acceptance season begins the hardest part of senior year hits—where do I go to school? Choosing a school was really hard for me. I was accepted into some pretty good schools, but they were all so different that I struggled to make a decision. Reflecting on my struggles, I decided to compile a list of things that I wish someone had told me two years so that I could help ease the stress of the decision process for others.
Bad weather may leave you with a negative impression. Be sure to visit the campus a second time when the weather is better. You may be surprised to find how much the weather can change your impression of a school.
It may sound kind of dorky, but it can actually be pretty helpful. Writing down the pros and cons helps you see what you value most in a school and what you can’t live without. As you start to write you’ll begin to see the differences between the schools.
It may seem pretty daunting, but don’t be afraid to ask current students about their experiences! We loved to be asked about our college experience because there is so much to tell. Students will be able to give you a realistic feel for the school that the admissions office can’t always provide.
5) Consider the entire package
Even though you are going to college to get a degree, academics are not going to be your entire collegiate life. Look for programs that interest you outside of the classroom. Interested in volunteering? Check out the school’s volunteer programs. Ask about local attractions or campus traditions to get a feel for the social aspect as well.
Interested in biomedical engineering or creative writing? Make sure that the school not only offers these specific programs but also other programs you may be interested in. After your first semester you may change your mind, so make sure that you have several different options to choose from.
If you have questions, ask them. There is no such thing as stupid questions—the more you know about a school the more capable you are to decide if it’s the place for you.
9) It’s OK to change your mind
You may have had your heart set on one school for years, but after touring another you may realize that the new school is the place for you. Chose the school that makes you happy even if that is a school you threw on your application list last minute.