When trying to find the perfect college, many students find themselves wondering how they will know which one is the right fit for them. While you are busy beefing up your resume and filling out applications, college boards are constantly making the university and campus the best it can be, hoping to recruit the cream of the crop. You’ll find yourself on a weekend visit with a bunch of other prospective students listening to the tour guide spew out massive amounts of information like history, sports stats and funky sounding dorm names, but how will you know by these things that this college is the peanut butter to your jelly?
The answer most of the time is that you won’t…
One tour guide won’t make your decision for you – it’s a combination of many different things that you think about during the decision process.
Below are 4 tips that will help you choose the right college for you…
1. Choosing A College Based on Your Major:
Are you one of those overachievers who knows exactly what they want to do with their life at the age of 18? Great, this will aid in the process of choosing a college. Many universities all over the country have programs that are considered their specialties, and choosing a college that has a strong school for what you are studying may just be the deciding factor. Even thinking ahead to graduate school may be a smart idea as it may be easier to get in to graduate programs at the school of your dreams if you attend the same school for your undergraduate career. A good tip is to ask the university if you can sit in on a class of your choice during your visit – you will be able to a better feel for what the classes are really like and if the environment suits you.
2. Location, Location, Location:
Do you want to stay close to home or get as far away as possible? You’re going to be spending the next four or more years of your life here, so you want to make sure your comfortable with the decision. This is really the time to evaluate how close you want to live to your family and friends from home. Moreover, the size of the city could make or break the college for you. If you want a small town feel, you may not want to attend a college in a big city like New York or Los Angeles. Location is definitely something to take seriously because many people find internships and jobs over summer where they attend school and building up a life there may lead to a career in that same city after graduation.
3. School Spirit:
For many colleges, their sports teams are the heart of the school. Do you see yourself sitting out in the freezing snow or in the blistering sun wearing body paint in your college colors? If so, taking a look at the school spirit and attending a sporting event before making your decision may be a good idea. Another way to see school spirit is to go visit a college during Homecoming. You’ll get a chance to talk to current students and Alumni, and hear about what that school really means to them.
4. Activities & Social Clubs
Finding things to do outside of class is not a problem on college campuses. There is a club for everything and everyone. Check out the main area of the college while you’re visiting to see what kind of clubs or activities you want to get involved in. College campuses have intramural sports leagues, academic clubs for each major and social groups like fraternities and sororities that will make your college experience complete. Look in to some of these options to see what interests you. Going out of your comfort zone is what college is all about, so be sure to wander in to a club or group that you normally wouldn’t have joined in high school.
In addition to all of these factors is the feeling you get when you go visit a college. Some say it is instantaneous and they can picture themselves hanging out with friends in the main student center on campus, grabbing a cup of coffee to take to study in the library or tailgating for the big game. The main thing is that the decision process is different for everyone and you can’t go wrong.
As a Dorm Room Movers author, if you have additional college evaluation tips please feel free to leave your suggestions.
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