October 30th, 2013 by schoolbound
I recently had a discussion with a good friend of mine about what we would do differently, looking back now at our college choices and career paths that we chose in our late teens. If only I knew then what I know now! How many times have you said that? I know I am not alone in that sentiment, and it applies to many different aspects other than just area of study or degree choice. Finding the right school can essentially change your life’s direction in many ways, not just educationally. If I had chosen to go to the University of Colorado in Boulder with 8 months of skiing at my disposal, my lifestyle would be completely different than if I chose to go to the University of Miami in Florida where I could take Marine Biology and have tropical waters at my disposal. Of course my degree choice is an important factor in determining where I would apply, but so is my lifestyle choice, school culture, and general atmosphere.
There are so many factors to consider when choosing a school for yourself; like the climate, the activities in and outside of school, the coursework, the demographics, location or proximity to a city (or not), public transportation, cost of living and more. Your college experience is completely different depending on the size of the school you choose as well, whether it be a small private college versus a sprawling University campus, a city campus or rural campus, or even an online university. All of these things are important variables to consider when making your choice depending on your personal situation, age, location, financial situation, free time etc. For some, online classes are the way to go, and for others attending a campus class works best.
I suggest that you consider these factors below when trying to come up with a list of priorities, wish list items, and preferences while making your list of schools to help you narrow your choices.
College can change your life in many ways, some that you may not even realize. If you spend 2-4 years in a place and make connections and get involved in a community, you may end up staying after you graduate or finding something you never knew interested you. Consider all of these things when deciding your future as they can make a huge impact on the rest of your life.