By: Natalie Tanner
Secondary school. College. University. Post high school education. Tech school. No matter what words used to describe education after high school, they still make high school seniors into a tangle of anxiety and stress. Choosing what to do after high school is a tricky thing, despite what the movies would have us believe.
With the clock ticking down towards graduation, I’ve been on a journey to find my perfect college. After searching for over eight months, I’ve come to the depressing conclusion that no college is perfect. However, there are colleges that are definitely better for me than others. Here are some of the things that have helped me make a decision.
This is the ultimate factor for me. Cost has been the number one thing I look at. Is it really worth it to move out? Is it worth it to pay out-of-state tuition when in-state schools are just as good? These are the questions I’ve had to ask myself while making these choices.
Knowing my major
I know this isn’t the case for a lot of incoming freshmen, but I already have an idea of what I want to be when I grow up. Looking for strong programs for my specific major has really helped narrow down my choices.
I don’t want to go to school in a sketchy town, so location is key. I also want a school fairly close to home so I won’t have to spend a ton of money coming home for the holidays.
Taking a tour
It may be a little late in the game, but taking a tour of campus is always a good idea. Preferably, go when class is still in session so you can get a better feel for how campus is normally. The tour guides will also point out specific features of each building and can answer a lot of questions.
Meet with professors
The attitude of professors can make or break a class. Talk to them (if possible) to get a feel for how classes will go. I talked to a few professors in my intended major and they were able to answer any questions and showed me around.
Meet with academic advisers at the university you are considering
They will help you see if their college is a good fit for you. They also helped me build a schedule that was perfect for me.
Letting go of high school
High school friends are great, and they can even be my friends for life. But I’m not going to college only because I have friends there. I’m actually pretty excited for a 100% clean slate in college.
Just remember while making these life decisions that it’s ok to be stressed. It’s ok to be crazy anxious. As graduating seniors, our entire lives are changing. While it is a good change, our lives from now on will be irrevocably different. Make sure to talk to someone you trust about these decisions. It really helps alleviate stress and you can receive some great advice.