Two weeks ago, I reposted an event on my Facebook timeline; the announcement of my college decision, A.K.A one of the best decisions of my life. So for this week’s Blog Sunday I have decided to reach out to all of the college deciding high school seniors.
I have some advice I’d like to share. Looking back, before I knew for sure where I’d be spending the #nextfour , I think if someone had shared this with me, I wouldn’t have felt so overwhelmed.
1. Don’t go where your friends are going just because your friends are going.
I made the decision to go to a school that is across the country from everyone I have ever known, knowing that none of my friends would be joining me. This has benefitted me in so many ways. Not only was I able to branch out and meet new people, but I also got to keep up with my friends, and hear all the amazing things they’re doing at their schools, as well as share my own experiences.
2. Don’t pick that school because it’s the party school.
I know every high school senior can’t wait for no curfew and all of the insaaaane college parties! But choosing a school because of their party reputation is not the way to go. Keep in mind that every school, no matter the size or location, has its parties. So don’t choose X college, instead of Y college for the main reason that X always hosts I’m Shmacked or has Barstool Sports reposting their Tailgates.
3. Don’t choose based on the name.
I’ll admit, as someone who applied to 14 different colleges (WHY?), I almost fell to this one. I was in between where I am now, and a Big10 university, and the “power” and confidence that comes with the bigger names, can be persuasive. Don’t let it. Looking back, I know I would have never been as happy there as I am here, and in reality, the names don’t matter if you don’t fit there.
4. Keep your major in mind, if you know what it is.
One of the main reasons I chose Arizona State is due to its excellent journalism program in one of the nation’s top 5 journalism schools; the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications. That isn’t to say that the other 13 universities I had applied to weren’t also excellent, but I fell in love with this program. So, if you know what you want to major in, or even think you know, scout out the school that offers the best in that.
5. Factor in the environments.
Are you the type of person who can walk to class in snow? I’m not. So I knew Syracuse, Ithaca College, most of the SUNYs and a lot of the east coast weren’t the best options for me. Can you learn well in a lecture of 250+ students? Or do you do better in smaller class sizes? You have to seriously factor in the weather, student population, the dorms, dining options, etc. because this is where you will be living and learning for months at a time.
6. Make the time, trip and effort to tour.
Don’t tell me you can’t because I braved the 5 hour flight to Arizona from New York to tour, and if I hadn’t, I would never have been confident in a decision to go here. If you don’t tour, you have no idea what to expect, it doesn’t matter if someone has told you what it’s like, or you know someone who goes there and loves it… You have to see it to make that call. Hell, I even toured some schools twice!
7. Don’t base anything off of those apps or FB groups.
I saw some weeeeeiiiirddd characters on those, even on ASU’s pages, but you can’t base your decision of a school on the small group of people who post on there. Those things are useful to find some friends who live near you, going to the same school and even a roommate (how I found mine!) but they certainly don’t define the school’s population as a whole.
8. Don’t follow your S.O.
**HYPOCRITE ALERT!!** I 100% did apply to my boyfriend’s university, and basically told everyone under the sun that if I was accepted, I was as good as going. Fortunately — notice I said fortunately, not unfortunately!! — I was not accepted. Looking back, if I had been accepted I would have been going to a university that truly was not for me, purely out of my love for my boyfriend, and that, is not cool! Only choose a college based on your feelings about said college, not one of its students or soon to be students.
9. Picture it.
This one might sound silly or stupid but it is so worth it. If you are between colleges, envision yourself wearing their logo, supporting their team, bleeding their colors, and telling others ” I go to ___________”. If you can’t picture it, it isn’t right. If when you say it out loud it doesn’t sound right, it most likely isn’t. Choose the university that sounds and feels right, the one you can picture yourself at.
And finally, last but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST.
10. DO NOT base your college decision on what you see on social media.
I, along with pretty much all other college students take pride in representing our schools, hence my gameday, sorority, party, and pool, filled instagram feed. Arizona State University is freaking amazing, and if you were to ask me and or anyone else who goes here, it is the best school in the nation. But does that mean you would think so too? Not necessarily. Never judge any situation, especially college by someone’s social media accounts. What might look like something you want to be apart of could be a much different reality. Always keep that in mind!
With all of that being said, I wish all high school seniors good luck on their college decisions, and for those who have already decided, congrats! I know each and every university or college can’t wait to have you. I hope this advice is helpful. 🙂
Comment, DM me, go through the contact page, whatever – for any feedback or suggestions you have! I would love to hear from you!