Choosing the right college may feel like a daunting task, but you are certainly not alone. The following five tips may help you narrow down your decision:
Base your decisions off your own preferences, not others’
It is easy to feel a certain pressure to go to a school based on family legacy, but when looking into colleges, look at ones that offer classes based on your personal interests. Make sure you also look at campuses that you would feel at home in. Make sure to choose a college where you would feel comfortable, and that provides the opportunity to explore various clubs, internships and sports.
Look at the size of colleges
Size makes a big difference in one’s college experience. College is a period of exploration, and some students prefer a smaller community where they can easily form friendships with similar people. Many liberal arts schools have smaller classes. For example, while University of California, Berkeley, has over 35,000 students, Amherst College, a liberal arts college, has a little over 1,800 students. Overall, size plays a significant role in choosing the best fit.
Read your mail
Many of us receive emails and pamphlets from different colleges. Most of the time, one may not really know these colleges. Do not delete these emails or throw out these pamphlets before looking into them! Just because the school does not seem as popular as various Ivy Leagues or big public institutions does not eliminate it as a good choice. After all, college is what you make of it. Success in life has less to do with the choice of college than with the experiences and opportunities encountered while in college.
Do not fret over majors
If you do not know what you want to major in, do not worry! Many students enter college undecided. College allows one to explore interests and options, and going into college undecided just encourages this exploration even more. Also, switching your major more than once is normal and common.
Do not feel scared, and trust the process
Everything happens for a reason, and you will end up at the college you are meant to be at! Do not focus on a college’s slim acceptance rate. Instead, focus on doing your best in school and making the most of your time. Be aware of your academic profile and compare it to college profiles from recently accepted and enrolled classes (typically found on the college’s website). If you cannot find the information, contact the college and ask your school counselor for further advice and feedback. Most importantly, trust the college process, regardless of how stressful it may feel.