Questions To Ask Yourself Before Committing to a College
You've applied to your top choices, waited the agonizing weeks between hearing back, and now, have finally received your share of acceptance letters and rejections. After spending so much time waiting for a school to pick you as a prospective student, it's now your turn to decide the college you want to attend.
This may seem like the easy part, but like with any major life decision, picking the right college for you comes with a lot of thought. After all, this is the place where you'll be spending the foreseeable future—where you will be making friends, taking classes, and expanding your horizons.
If you're still between a few colleges on your list, and already have the financial aspects squared away, you may want to ask yourself these questions to help narrow your choices down. While there's no perfect college out there, these questions can help you figure out what it is that you want out of your experience—and find a school that offers you the closest to it.
Am I Comfortable With the Distance From Home?
Maybe you haven't explored more than a few miles from your hometown, and are eager to see a different part of the country. Or maybe you're hoping to live at home and commute, or at least have the option of heading back every few weeks for laundry and your mom's cooking.
Be realistic about your expectations in terms of how far away your new school will be from your hometown. Will you be excited or kind of annoyed when you run into the newly minted seniors at your local high school when you're out with your new college friends? Will you hate having to pay for a plane ticket every time you want to hang out with your family? Only you can answer those questions.
Do I Like the Culture?
The truth is, you won't know the real culture of a school until you're embedded in it—and you won't know how much you'll like something until you're truly living that experience. For example, you may have professed your hatred for sports time and time again, only to find that you kind of love going to your school's football games.
That being said, you should do your research on what the culture of your school is generally like. If 90% of campus is into Greek life, will you be comfortable signing up? If the school is made up of mostly commuter students, but you're hoping to spend a lot of time on campus getting involved in extracurricular activities, will it be a good fit? Consider what's most important to you in terms of campus activities, and make sure your school of choice matches up.
Are There Extracurriculars I'm Excited About?
Your college education doesn't just exist within a classroom. Extracurriculars can really help you find what you want to do after college, and even assist you in making real-world connections. Loved your high school radio station? See what schools boast an awesome TV program. Really loved your chemistry course senior year? See if there are any lab assistant opportunities you can get involved with right away. While you may have to dig a little bit for the specific organizations you're into (especially if it's a student-run org) it will be worth it to know you have an exciting opportunity to get involved with something you love, as well as meet new people into the same thing, when you arrive on campus.
Does It Have the 'Extras' I Want?
If you've dreamed of studying abroad in France, it might be worth exploring a school with a satellite campus in Paris—or at least finding a school that encourages study abroad opportunities for all majors. If you're excited about getting to explore a new city, you'll want to make sure that your school of choice has easy access to a metropolitan area, even if it's not technically in a major city.
Want to read more about college? Click HERE to read about the random things you should take to school.