Choosing a place where you’ll spend the next 4 years of your life can be a very challenging and confusing process! Lucky for you, I’ve gone to 3 colleges and have cracked the code when determining which college to go to!
I graduated high school a semester early and started my college career 5 days later. At the time, I was only 17 and didn’t feel mature enough to go away to a big university, so I started at my local community college. A lot of high school graduates don’t know what they really want to study or do with their lives at 18 years old… so I think it is a really smart move both mentally and financially to start your college career at a community college! It is so much cheaper and you really get an idea of what interests you. You also get most of your general education courses out of the way so when you do transfer you’ll really just focus on the courses that pertain to your degree!
I have come up with a list of 10 things to keep in mind when deciding which college to attend, enjoy!
I’m from the Midwest and have recently moved to SouthWest Florida, mainly because of the climate! I have always hated the cold and desired warmth all year round so I transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University this semester and it has made my college experience so much better! It’s important to be in a climate that makes you feel your best self because it will reflect in your grades since you are happy!
Some people, including myself, have a hard time being too far away from their family! It is totally okay to feel this way so if that is your case, you should look at colleges that are in driving range for you to go home or for your family to come and visit you! If you and your family are good with you going far away to college just make sure you stay in contact with them to let them know how everything is going!
3. What the College is Known For
You don’t want to go to a college that isn’t known for what you want to major in. If you want to earn a business major you should look into colleges that are very business savvy to get the best bang for your buck!
4. College’s Reputation
Something that I always looked for in a college is the reputation. In my mind, I didn’t want to go to a college that was only known for being a party school because in the future when I would go to apply for a job and the potential employer sees you went a school notorious for partying, I don’t want them to think that is all I did in school! You have to think about the outcomes you might have when applying for positions sometimes because you don’t want your potential employers to paint a false image of your work ethic based on the college you went to.
5. Program of Interest
This goes hand-and-hand with knowing what the college is known for because once you figure out what degree you want, you should take a look at what each semester will look like for you! I am a marketing major so I looked at the recommendation the school provided for courses to take each semester, luckily each course seemed appealing to me! Originally, I wanted to major in accounting… but after I looked at the overall program I decided it just wasn’t for me!
6. Statistics for Graduates
I think its a smart move to look at the statistics of graduates from the college you’re looking at to see how it was for them getting a job once they graduated, specifically if you can find out what their degree was so you can get an idea of your potential future!
Definitely look into scholarship opportunities at the college of your choice because scholarships really help! Applying for financial aid is also something I would recommend!
8. Your Priorities
All colleges have different clubs for students to join and I think that is something to look for when deciding which college to go to! You also need to evaluate what you want to get out of the next 4 years of your life, besides a degree, to make sure you have the best college experience you can have. At the end of the day you need to really sit down and think of what you want and just go with it!
9. Don’t Be a Follower
When deciding which college to go to, don’t just go somewhere because your best friend or your significant other is going there… You need to go to a college where you can find yourself being there because the next 4 years are for YOU to grow and for YOU to learn, not your friends. If your best friend or significant other happen to go to the school you want to go to that’s great, but you should be going to that school for the right reasons not just because they are going there!
10. Create a Pros and Cons List
Once you have narrowed down the colleges that interest you, make a list of the negatives and positive attributes of each college. It really helps laying everything out on the table and being truthful because it helps with your decision process. Once you have 3-5 colleges narrowed down go ahead and apply!