Picking a college

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I had no idea where I wanted to go to college or what I wanted to study my senior year of high school. This is not an uncommon problem and you are not alone. 

“Where are you going to school?” “What are you planning to major in?”

You’ve heard it from the woman at your church and your uncle at Thanksgiving. It’s okay to not know. It’s okay to be stressed. Just know you are not alone. 

Here is a list of ideas that I considered before picking a school and I hope you will find them helpful. 

Finances

How will you be paying for school? Do you need to take out student loans? Will you be getting financial aid? Apply for all the scholarships and grants you can! It’s free money that you won’t ever have to pay back! Look for local, state, nationwide and even scholarships specified for your desired major. Last but certainly not least, your FAFSA. FILL THIS OUT! You may receive money that you didn’t think you could. 

Major 

One of the biggest factors you have to consider before deciding on where to go, is your major. It’s important to look at schools that offer your major and how successful their programs are. If you have no idea what to major in, try shadowing a professional in the field you are considering. My senior year I thought I wanted to attend a community college and become a dental hygienist and boy, was I wrong. After shadowing my dental hygienist, it became apparent to me that it was not the path I wanted to pursue. You will never know unless you try. Also, don’t get stuck on the idea that your major is the only type of career you could ever pursue. The world is ginormous, and your possibilities are endless. 

Distance 

Can you drive? Will you have to fly? Can you have your car on campus freshman year? How will you move all of your belongings? All of these are important ideas when considering the distance of home to your school. 

Other helpful resources are teachers from your school or your counselor. They have all been through this and can help you narrow down your interests. Most counselors can provide information on scholarships, school tours and applications. Use your resources, ask questions, talk to others, google everything. Everyone is here to help you along this stressful journey. 

The most important factor in this decision is YOU. Do what makes you feel comfortable and pick a school that makes you feel at home. If going to a community college first and transferring later works better for you, pursue that. If you get to a school and decide it’s not for you, it’s okay to make a change. Put yourself first and the rest will follow. 

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