College…Choosing a School

As the semester begins, there are some college students around the country who are thinking “I don’t think this college is the right one for me” or there are high school seniors collectively thinking “where the heck am I going to be next fall?”. I want to tell you something: stop over thinking it!

Yesterday I was talking to my cousin {she’s a college freshman} and she was debating whether or not to transfer; and I felt a little sad. I hate when students don’t end up liking the college they chose to attend the first time around but I’m never opposed to them transferring to somewhere that would better them. Well here is what I told her; these are my three things you need to consider when picking a college to attend:

One Major: Of course, you have to make sure the college you want to attend has your major that you want to study. However this is not the only thing in the major department you need to consider. You’ve probably been freaking out about your major and if you’ll like it so you probably have a few back up options. Make sure your college has those back up options as well, so you won’t have to go through the hassle of transferring if you end up not liking your major. No reason to leave a beautiful place because you don’t like your major.

Two Campus: There are many facets to a campus. The scenery, the dorms, the library, the food, the activities/clubs, the classrooms; it’s all so complicated! However here is what I believe to be the most important: dorms {or nearby apartments}, scenery, recreation {gym}, location. If you’re going to be a freshman, many universities require their freshman to live on campus their first year: this is where the dorms come in. You’re going to be spending at least a year in these buildings so you have to make sure that there is a specific dorm building that you like on the campus. You also want to see what kind of apartments are around the campus for if/when you decide to leave the dorms. The scenery is also important. You don’t want to walk around campus and be bored with what you see. Whenever I walk around ASU West, I’m always in awe of the scenery around the school. For the gym, it doesn’t have to be something fancy but most schools have gyms but you want to make sure they offer activities through the gym, like yoga or something else you’d like. Location wise, you want to make sure that there is something for you to do around the campus that is in walking distance or you can take public transportation. You don’t want to be stuck on campus on the weekend when everyone is away. You also want to make sure there is a grocery store and/or some fast food restaurants for the days where the dining hall just isn’t your cup of tea.

Three Happiness: You want to make sure it makes you happy! If you’re very unsure about leaving your home state {and you got accepted to another college in your home state} then don’t leave! If you don’t think this experience will grow you, then it isn’t worth it. Don’t go somewhere just because it is “expected” of you; do whatever makes YOU happy! Make sure the college meets your criteria, you enjoy being on the campus and you’re happy! You’re the one going to the school!

Now I understand there are extenuating circumstances that could force you to transfer {money issues} and if that is a serious issue, then transfer. I’m just trying to give you advice to avoid a voluntary transfer of universities because sometimes it can be very stressful.

What are some of your college decision making tips?

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