Tips for Choosing the Right College
by Elizabeth L., Pascoag, RI
It's probably one of the most important decisions you'll make in your life, so you don't want to make the wrong one. But choosing a college can be so confusing. Your parents, teachers, guidance counselors and coaches give you plenty of support. Of course, you're always open to advice. Unfortunately, in the end, they can't make the decision for you. There are many ways to decide which college is right for you. Here are a few important Do's and Don't's to remember.
When choosing a college, always take time to think things over. Make sure you do a lot of research on any college you are considering. Take advantage of any open houses a college offers and try to take a campus tour, if you can. Make it a point to see as much of a college as possible. The best time to visit is when classes are in session. That way you can get the feel of a typical day. If you can't arrange any of these things, try to purchase or borrow videos of the college.
One of the important things to consider is how far from home you want to be. You may be comfortable far away or you may only want to be a couple hours' drive from home. When choosing a college, make sure you choose one that suits your personality. If you want to be involved in lots of activities, choose one that has plenty to choose from. Also keep in mind that if you don't feel comfortable with the college you select, you can always transfer.
When choosing the school, there are some things you don't want to let influence your decision. Don't go to a college just because your friends will. They may have totally different needs when it comes to education. Make sure you choose a college because you want to go there - and not because your parents want you to. They may have gone to that college, but now it's your turn. Don't rush your decision, even if it seems everyone else knows where they want to go. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions or request additional information. There are lots of important things you'll need to know about a college to make the right decision.
The most important thing to remember when choosing the ideal college is pick one you are comfortable with. It is your future>- and no one else's.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.