The College Decision Frenzy!
By Rocio, age 18, California
College decisions are just around the corner. Everyone is petrified. Which school to choose out of the many you applied to? Well, do not panic! As someone who applied to sixteen - yes, sixteen - schools, I have a lot of advice on how to narrow down your choices.
The most important thing to do is to make up your mind about what it is that you want in a school. A good way to do this is by making a list of all the things you would want in a school. For me, I knew that I wanted a school that had a strong focus on the undergraduate education, where I could have one-on-one time with my professors. Automatically, all of the big universities I had been accepted to were cut out of my list.
Then I moved on to the residential life, which depends on the choice you make to live on or off campus. I wanted to live on campus so that I could feel like an active part of the campus and get involved. That's when I started to look at each school's website. They each had a "campus life" or "residential life" section, and it gives specifics on housing and the variety of lifestyles the school accommodates.
My three choices came down to Connecticut College, Bryn Mawr, or Pitzer College. I had visited all of the campuses except for Connecticut College, and decision day was coming. I had decided that I would end up at Pitzer College, a small liberal arts college in Claremont, California. I wanted to tell myself that it would be best to stay close to my parents, but once Connecticut College agreed to fly me out to visit their campus, everything changed. I had never been on a campus where residential life was so highly valued and emphasized, the faculty-to-student ratio was amazing, and the campus was beautiful. I ended up enrolling at Connecticut College, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I look back and see friends who attend other schools that I had the choice to go to but chose not to, and I see now that I would have been miserable there.
So if you're freaking out, I understand, but just remember ... BREATHE! It's a long process, but if you take a step back and remind yourself that an education is important and that you need to be comfortable at the place you go to school, you will be fine. Go with your gut feeling - don't let anyone pressure you. If you're having trouble with your parents, let them know that this is your decision, because it's your education, and you want to make the most of the experience.
True, it's stressful to make a decision that determines where you will be for the next four years of your life, but it's up to no one else but yourself to make the choice. Remember, take it easy, and it will all be okay.