By Chelsea Oliver
Spring is prime time for colleges and universities to call, email, mail, and basically hound high school seniors. They all want you to attend their school and select one of their programs, so how do you choose? Trust your gut.
In April of 2007, I had already chosen what school I was going to go to. I had the t-shirts, my parents told all of their friends. My friends signed my yearbook with, “Good Luck at (that school you told everyone you were going to)!” I was set to go, until one day when I just wasn’t. Something about the decision did not sit right with me. I thought about it every time I looked through their website, with every piece of mail they sent, nothing felt right about that school anymore. It was not where I felt like I could make my home for the next four years. So at the last minute, literally a week before graduation, I switched schools.
Thankfully, my parents were supportive throughout my selection process. They knew at the end of it all, no matter what school they might have wanted me to attend it came down to my decision. Hopefully, your support network is the same. College is a life-changer and it should empower you and change you in a positive way. Feeling comfortable in your school of choice and supported to make that choice will play a big role in how you feel when you are starting out.
For me, switching schools at the last minute was the greatest choice I could have made. I loved everything about college and the school I chose was the number one reason why. I felt at home and I grew as a person in ways I could have never imagined. I learned so much about my field and gathered information from others. I soaked in the college experience and loved every minute of it. That’s what you want when you are looking back on these years.
Do not feel pressured by the phone calls and emails. There are plenty of other students on those call lists for admissions counselors to talk to. Do not let your parent’s make this choice for you. They are not the one going off to college, you are. Do not go where all your friends are going because you are worried you will lose them after high school. If they are a true friend, you will still have them if you are at a different school.
Allow yourself time to really imagine what it would be like living on that campus, eating that food, taking those courses. These next four years are yours, be comfortable and confident in where you decide to spend them. Give your heart time to fall in love with a school and allow your instincts to guide you to where you will call home for the next four years. And good luck at whichever school you decide on!
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