Picking the right school can be incredibly difficult, believe me I know, it took me an extra set of applications to get it right. That being said, I learned a lot about what I didn’t want in a school based on what I didn’t like about my first school and that helped me look for my current school, Hofstra University where I’m very happy.
Obviously I’m not suggesting that you do what I did and transfer after your first year (although don’t hesitate to transfer if you’re truly unhappy where you are), but you can sort if do what I did in a more direct way.
A lot of the time when you look at different schools you know what it is that you don’t like about them but you don’t normally focus in that, you focus on the things that you do like and looking for school that fits the bill.
Well, that’s great and I don’t think you should stop doing that but, I think that you should also keep track of things that you don’t like about schools. Keeping a list of the things you don’t like will help you figure out what it is you do like and will also help you understand what it is that you’re trying to avoid. Sometimes you get caught up in one thing you absolutely love about a school that you then overlook that it has a few of the things that you’re not at all interested in.
The excitement of applying to college can sometimes over rule our better judgement and we tell ourselves that the little things we don’t like about our school won’t matter. sometimes however, the little things become the big things that drive us crazy. Remember, this is where you’re looking to spend the majority of the next four years.
My suggestion to you is to keep some of the following things in mind when you’re applying.
- Size. When going to class do you want to know everyone you walk by, no one you walk by or do you want to be somewhere in the middle? Think about this and how anonymous or not you want to feel on your campus.
- Distance from home. Sometimes in our excitement to see the world and grow up we think that we can handle being further from home than we really can. Keep that in mind. Are you okay with possibly only seeing your family for Christmas and Spring Break?
- Location. Make sure that the school is in an area that you feel you can utilize. Is there a grocery store nearby, a bank, a mall etc.? If you don’t have a car will you still be able to get to these places?
- Academics. How strong are there academics. If you know specifically what you’re looking to pursue, how strong is that department and do you think that you’ll get what you want from your education by studying there? If you don’t know what you want to study do they have a lot of different majors so that you have a lot of avenues to explore?
- Dorm life. Looking at the dorms do you think that you ill be okay living on campus in that amount of space?
- Sports. Is being part of a sport community a big thing for you?
- Food. do they have food options on campus that you think you’ll be able to enjoy day in and day out?
Wherever it is that you decide you want to apply to and hopefully attend for college I wish you luck in all of it and hope that you enjoy the experiences you have at college.