6 Small Things That Could Make a BIG Impact on Your College Decision

It's a no-brainer that factors including your desired major, extracurriculars and distance from home will play a huge role in where you go to college.

Even if you generally need space from your family, the idea of having them somewhat close is always a relief in case of emergencies—just like how it would be a waste of time to attend a college that doesn't offer your intended major or carry the extracurriculars you're passionate about.

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But there's a handful of other seemingly less crucial factors that should absolutely also play a role in where you decide to go. Keep reading for six small things that could make a big impact on your college decision.

1. The Weather

A change of pace is always nice. If you're from SoCal and you love the rain, going to a school in Oregon may sound like a dream. If building snowmen is your fave winter break activity, going to school somewhere like Michigan might seem fun. Or, if you're sick of the cold and want a nice, sunshine-y reprieve, Arizona may sound like your best bet.

But, you need to keep in mind that liking a particular type of weather a few weeks out of the year or when you're on vacation is very different from experiencing it year-round. Weather will play a huge role in your college experience. From walking to class to partaking in outdoor activities, really think long and hard about the conditions you can and can't tolerate for extended periods of time. There are some locations that are literally freezing 9 months out of the year.

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2. The Lifestyle of the Town

While a college itself may offer everything you need, it's really important to consider the general lifestyle of the campus' neighboring community. If you're a strict vegan, you'll want to find a location with plenty of places that adhere to your dietary restrictions. If you're not religious at all, you'll want to steer clear from a town with a predominantly religious population. If you love to ski, you're super spiritual or you're really into music, you'll probably want to set yourself up in a town with like-minded individuals.


3. A Broad Course Selection

You may be set on majoring in communications and that's that, but your academic experience at college will extend outside of much more than just your area of specialization. The wonderful thing about a college education is you have the opportunity to explore so many different subjects. Not only do you get to step out of your comfort zone with a lot of courses, but the more you have to choose from, the more you open yourself up to entirely new fields of knowledge. For all you know, what you end up majoring in may end up being something entirely different than what you ever initially anticipated. Going to a school with limited courses may end up making you feel boxed into something, which will leave you feeling unfulfilled when you graduate.

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4. A Football Team

Now before you roll your eyes and try to remember the last time you put on a pair of Nikes, hear us out. Even if you don't play sports—heck, even if you've never seen a football game in your life, having a college football team is so much more than the sport itself. College football is totally a thing, and whether you're into it or not, the whole experience brings people together; it also puts your school on the map and enhances school spirit.


5. The Town Size

While everything you absolutely need to get by should be found on campus, trust us, there will be plenty of times when you just need some space. Whether it's going to the movies with friends, dining outside of the dorms, date night, or simply going to a mall, if the town of your college is too small, you may go a little stir crazy. This town is the place you're going to call home for the next four years, so make sure it's a place you'll like. Your college town should be a place you can escape to without worrying you may run into your lab partner.

On the flipside, if you love small towns and don't think you can handle the hustle and bustle of a big city, you'll want to avoid that move. You have to consider that moving to college is a whole adaptation of its own, and dealing with the residents and the pace of the city or town will be one extra big adjustment.

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6. A Convenient Transportation System

While having a car on campus may make you feel pretty powerful, it's actually a huge burden. There are so many permits involved, and your parking ticket collection is likely to be up there with your stack of Starbucks receipts. Additionally, cops are on a nonstop campus watch, just waiting for students to do something that calls for a traffic violation.

Not bringing a car means you'll rely on public transportation more than you may think. Look into going to a school that has an on-campus bus system or some kind of city transportation system that's easy (and safe) for students to use. While Ubers are great and all, you'll find those "$6 here" and "$5 there" trips will add up very quickly.


In need of more college content? HERE are things you need to consider before declaring a major!