Choosing where you’ll go to college is probably one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life – no pressure. You’ll be choosing what kind of degree you end up with, what kind of classmates and friends you’ll have, and it’s generally the first step away from home. The college years are often some of the best of your life and chances are once you’ve chosen your college you’re going to want to join a sorority or fraternity. It’s a great way to bond with fellow students and to have a real sense of community. So once you’ve decided where you’re headed, keep in mind greek life apparel where you can buy really cool themed clothing and apartment pieces. If you’re confused where to go for your college education, please read on as I’ve written a post on my tips on how to pick the right college for you:
1. Narrow it Down
Changes are you already have a few ideas of where you’re thinking of going. I would make a pros and cons list of each option to see if there is a stand out option. Sometimes we already have somewhere in our heart that we really want to go, and often it’s a good idea to go with your gut instinct. Just be sure to make sure you’re not choosing your college based on someone else; does it make the most sense for you personally to go there? I find it helpful to work backwards, to ask where I want to be and then to figure out which college is going to make it easier for me to reach my goals. If you’re choosing between a few colleges that offer very similar courses, then your decision may be a little harder. As a general rule it’s good to apply to a few colleges, so if you don’t get your preference you have at least a few to fall back on.
Still feeling really confused as to where you want to study? I have a few more things listed below that can make it easier for you to decide.
2. Find Out Who the Lecturers Are
College is a great place to find a mentor, to take some work experience as a Lab assistant or tutor and to find out about what other future opportunities you can find during your final college years. I would pay special attention to the lectures that are teaching the courses you’re interested in. Have any of them received any special awards, worked on any special projects or campaigns that interest you? While you’re going to college for your degree, the truth is that who is teaching you can really influence what direction you head in and how far you go. Spend a little time researching the people who will be taking your course and see which teachers best resonate with your plans and goals for the future.
3. What Non Academic Benefits do the Colleges Have?
While we go to college to study for a career, the truth is there’s a lot more to college than just studying. There’s the exciting aspect of joining a sorority or fraternity, what clubs and sports are on offer, and also for many of us who have to work during our studies, what kind of jobs we can find through the university. How’s the student support system at the universities you’re considering? What about the health and fitness facilities, such as gyms. All of these will influence your time at college, so do a little research to see what colleges are a best fit for your lifestyle.
4. Costs and Scholarships
College is more expensive now than it has ever been before and the truth is it is a little tricky to have such a large expense when you’re just leaving school and likely haven’t had much time in the work force. When I studied at college I actually had to get a loan to pay my fees, which wasn’t ideal but it was my only option at the time. I wish I had invested a little more time into applying for scholarships.
The truth is the cost of college may be a deciding factor as to where you end up, so research what kind of scholarships are available for the schools you’re interested in and what the fees are if you don’t receive one. You may find that one college seems to offer better value than the others and that could guide you towards choosing it. While money isn’t the only thing you should focus on, it’s obviously something you should keep in mind because the less debt you have at graduation, the easier your financial future will be – at least for the first few years out of college.
5. Proximity to Home
Do you plan to live at home during your college years? There’s many benefits to this: less cost and likely a lower student debt when finishing, spending extra time with family while you can, and many other factors. Some people prefer to find a college far away from home in order to get some independence and also to have the experience of living in a different city or country while they study. This is a very personal choice and one only you can make. However, depending on your goals it could be a positive or negative if the college you’re considering is close to home. I decided to study at a college in my home city, but chose to move out of home so I could learn some independence. While it worked fine for me, I wish I had spent a few years living at home so I could have at least saved a little money and put it towards my student debts.
Going off to college is such an exciting time of your life. Where you end up at college will set the path for your future, so spend a little time thinking about what your end goals are and find a college that ticks most of your boxes. I hope you found this article helpful and best of luck with finding and applying for college!