Choosing a College
By Cindy, age 17, Texas
If you're clueless about the college you want to attend, you're not alone. Even when your peers around you have already selected an Ivy League or state school, they'll probably change their mind in the process. I've learned that it's a whole different thing saying that you already know where you want to go and another when it comes to applying.
As soon as we lay our hands on that online or print application, our nerves start acting up and a million questions are unleashed. Am I sure of that college? One-hundred percent? How do I even know that it's right for me? What if I don't like it when I get there?
Yes, the questions are torturous when you get to that point. Personally, I've sorted through dozens and dozens of college choices and I kept switching my mind. I had an idea of some colleges I would like to go to, but what about the other ones? I just felt that if I eliminated one choice, it might be some catastrophic mistake.
But just recently I made up my mind. How did I end the trek of anguish to choosing a college? Well, it took various sources to finally confirm my choice.
First, you should pay attention to all the brochures and information packets colleges send you. Don't skim through them. Read them carefully. You might be surprised to find a program or aspect that might interest you. Also, you should organize all of those brochures and information packets into a binder so you can keep track of the information and eventually narrow down your choices.
Second, you can try those quizzes or tests on the Internet to determine which college you should go to since they ask you questions about your personality and interests. The results are calculated based on your responses so answer carefully, and from there they decide which college "fits" you the most.
Finally, take advantage of all those college presentations at your school or in the area you live. Many college admissions directors or counselors present their colleges at locations and take the time to answer your questions. Since you don't see those people very often, you should take advantage of the opportunity and learn as much as possible. Another option is to personally visit the campus. This past summer, I visited a college campus, and though I had informed myself about the university, I learned even more by being there. I was able to sleep at the dorms, eat at their cafeterias. and tour the area. Ultimately, I realized I enjoyed the large campus with its many assets, and now it is my first choice.
Remember, choosing a college is not easy. You won't decide in a week or even a month. The process takes time and you'll be scratching and rewriting your choices plenty of times. Therefore, you should start the process of choosing a college as soon as possible so you can learn as much about the college and decide on the one that's going to benefit you most.