How To Choose The Right College
Lifestyles

A Foolproof Guide To Choosing The Right College​

If you're curious about how my school list went from 50+ to 1, keep on reading.

88
A Foolproof Guide To Choosing The Right College​
Aubrielle Cuccuini

Ahh, it seems like just yesterday I received my college acceptance in the mail and my decision to attend the University of Central Florida became cemented in my mind. My college decision and application process was, unconventional towards the end of my journey, but I still went through many of the same thoughts and emotions as others. Now, as a recent college graduate, I'm completely satisfied with my decision and I'm ready to pass on all of my tips that I have learned along the way.

The college decision and application process can be a long and expensive journey. For some students, this process can formally take up to nine months. I say formally because throughout most of our educational career we are informally pushed to pick a college, pursue a degree, and decide on an occupation, even though these feelings and goals change frequently. Up until the college application process officially began, I must have switched my occupational goals and college choice fifty times.

Yet, within the first few weeks of my senior year, I had known the exact college I wanted to go to, the major I wanted to pursue, and every other collegiate detail. By applying to only one school, I saved a lot of money on applications and a lot of headaches during the application process, and I was able to enjoy my senior year. Curious about how my school list went from 50+ to 1? Keep on reading.


IMG_3394

First things first- location, location, location. The summer before my senior year I had wanted to go to a big city, maybe New York, maybe Los Angeles; Boston, and DC also sounded appealing. I was 80% sure I wanted to go out of state, but I also liked the idea of staying close to home to save money. Mind you within each of those cities I had about 5 to 7 schools that I liked the idea of attending.

Yet, when evaluating each region and the prospect of living in those areas, I decided that staying in-state was the best option. As I mentioned before, it was the most cost-effective and if I got homesick I could easily return. Thus, my best advice is to visualize yourself living in that area and how that would affect you in the long run. Also, be knowledgeable about the overall cost of living in that city, because $2,000 per month in rent is not unheard of in some areas.

Next, find a school that has a major you love, and also a backup major. Never settle. If a school doesn't have your major, it's probably not meant to be. After all, you're paying a lot of money for college, and the last thing you want to do is waste money on a degree you don't like. You will have a miserable college experience and you will come to regret it. But, people do change, so make sure your selected college has a backup major available, something that is a part of your plan B just in case you want to switch.

Furthermore, take the time to tour the campus. I noticed some colleges looked amazing on paper. They had all of the amenities I've dreamed of, but when I got to the campus, it was nothing like I expected. Other schools that I doubted, looked like a paradise when I visited and I could truly visualize myself walking through the courtyards or studying in the library. Make sure when you visit each school, check out their extracurriculars, the classrooms, and the student living areas. For me, once I visualized myself at UCF, no other school really mattered.


Lastly, the most overwhelming prospect of the US college search is the cost. For a lucky few, the expense of the school may not matter. For the average person, however, the cost of tuition and other college driven expenses are ever lingering and dwelling. Getting a job during your freshman year to support your college education can be overwhelming and extremely time-consuming. So, if you're financially honest with yourself and your situation, you may be able to divert getting a job for your first year. Now, if a school has everything else you need and you couldn't imagine going anywhere else, go there. Live your life with no regrets, because in the end, you will never be able to put a price tag on your college experience and life events. Luckily, student loans are available so just be smart about your spending habits.

However, if you value a debt-free life, look into your school's scholarship programs and apply to as many as possible, and note that most local communities and specific professions will offer students scholarships, so be driven during your scholarship search. In the end, be smart about cost, but do not stress. Never put yourself in a finical situation you don't feel comfortable in, and just remember that everything happens for a reason.

In sum, the college process is scary - but enjoy it. This is a one time experience full of endless opportunities! I hope this guide helps alleviate a little bit of stress, and good luck on your journey!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments