There are thousands of colleges out there! Which one is right for you? That IS the question!
There are ways to think about fitting your choice of college to you.
Academics and majors:
On the one hand, you should make sure you research the program of studies you are interested in. Does the school have adequate numbers of courses in your program, distinguished faculty, good job placement success?
On the other hand, you can not even know what you will major in and still select the right college. For example, large campuses may have a larger number of majors that will allow you to sample if you are unsure what you want to be.
On the one hand, you might enjoy an urban setting which can offer museums, ethnic food, or major league sports games.
On the other hand, you may feel more comfortable with a small town atmosphere and access to outdoor activities.
Type of college:
On the one hand you may be looking for 2-year colleges that offer associate degrees so you can start a career or business right away.
On the other hand, you might want a 4-year college where you can earn a bachelor’s degree and maybe continue on with graduate studies.
Size of college:
On the one hand, a large campus can offer many things: student body diversity, more faculty, more activities, sports teams….
On the other hand, a small campus may be more community-oriented, have more access to the faculty, offer everyone a chance at playing sports on intramural teams, and give more personal attention.
On the one hand, there are public universities that are partially funded by state monies and tend to be less expensive.
On the other hand, private schools are more expensive but may offer bigger financial aid packages.
Does all that help?
Well…at least you now see what you have to consider, but what will probably help you the most is deciding what YOU want.
Who are you, and what will make you comfortable? It may feel like you have to have a big name school or be a party animal or be seriously academic, but you have to ask yourself what it is you really feel most comfortable with. Yes, you should perhaps try to look at the unusual or the far away or the challenging, but in the end what will work for you over several years?
You must realize that although choosing a college is an important decision, there is no ONE ideal spot. Mostly likely there are several colleges where you can be happy. It is KEY to consider what is in the mix of your choices and to be honest about which you fit with best.
So forget about the high school pressure, the peer pressure, the parent pressure, and begin to think about your choice of college as the first step in making it work for YOU.