How To Ease College Search Stress
Start writing a post
Student Life

How To Ease College Search Stress

Some foolproof methods that I used to find my dream college, and that will hopefully reduce the stress of your overbearing parental unit.

How To Ease College Search Stress
Next Avenue

As the fall semester finally drifts its way to a close, our campus is swamped more and more frequently with tours of scared -- or confident -- high school students eager to find their home for the next four years. Each one seems at least moderately overwhelmed as I was, no matter how prepared they feel, when they see a student in an inflatable dinosaur costume sprinting around campus at top speed. And the search process is no cakewalk either. You have to narrow down by country, then state, then major and kind, and it all feels like a lot. I would much rather relive finals week forever than go through the stress of finding a college.

But fear not, young ones! I, through an incredible amount of trial and error, have discovered a couple ways to help relieve a significant amount of stress. Hopefully my mistakes(that, mind you, lead me to the perfect college) will assist you in finding the right college for you.

My very first recommendation is narrow your search. Start with location. How far away from home do you want to be? Do you want to be no more than an hour away, or are you willing to branch out a little farther? I know a friend who is currently studying in Rome -- talk about exotic local(replace “Rome” with Quebec if you happen to be from Italy). You should also look at the surrounding town. Both small towns and big cities have their advantages. Small towns have cutesy little shops, and you can usually walk just about anywhere. However, there’s not a lot places to go without driving. Large cities are always busy, so you're rarely lonely, and there's easy transportation, but they are also loud and can easily get expensive. Additionally, how large do you want the school? Do you want it to be large enough that you have lots of opportunities and can easily adapt, or small enough that you can easily stand out and every professor knows your name? Some people thrive around others, while other people need some isolation. I prefer knowing everyone I’m around -- it makes it easier to make connections -- but some of my friends enjoyed a big school because they could meet new people every day. It all depends on how you operate, so start analyzing that.

When you start your search, money will definitely be an issue. Tuition is the highest it’s been in a long time, and it’s near impossible to go to college without accumulating debt. However, if you play your cards right, and apply to as many scholarships as humanly possible, you might be able to lower the cost and still go to your dream school. To do this, you must go to college fairs. Talk to all of the admissions people you can. Go to every event anywhere. That’s how I ran into representatives from Hastings, where I now attend happily. Also, sign up for every email list you can. Most of the time, schools will offer free online applications that don’t require essays, so that can be a good safety net. They also offer up to full tuition through some of these applications. On that note, apply, apply, apply! Apply to as many colleges as you think you might be interested in, and a couple you’re not. It genuinely can do nothing but help.

After all of this research and studying and hard work, it’s time to visit. I understand not a lot of people can afford to visit all the colleges they apply to, but if you find a college that sounds like somewhere you might want to be, everyone’s recommendation is to tour. However, I’m going to modify that slightly; sandwich your dream school in between two others that you’re not entirely sure about, but are considering. It sounds corny, but when you step on the right campus, you just know, but you especially know if you immediately step on the wrong campus before and afterward. It’s such a weird feeling because it’s the feeling of being home, but most prospective college students have never felt anywhere that was home that wasn’t actually home.

Hopefully, these quick couple of tips and thoughts will help you (and your overbearing parent or guardian that is currently freaking out) find your dream school. Of course, don’t set your expectations too high. Just find somewhere you can tolerate living at for 4 years. And most importantly, keep an open mind. If you go somewhere thinking you’re going to hate it,

you will. Like Henry Ford says, “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”. You never know what dinky little Nebraska town in the middle of nowhere will capture your heart.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

7 Reasons SoCal Rocks!

75 degrees and sunny, plus, no humidity. I mean do I really need to say more?

woman in black and white long sleeve shirt carrying girl in red jacket in Venice beach
Photo by Jeff Hopper on Unsplash

SoCal summers are the best summers by far, and honestly, no argument is needed. But, if you aren't sure why SoCal summers are the best, here are 7 reasons why!

Keep Reading...Show less

25 Lyrics for Selfie Captions

Because let's be honest, we all use lyrics.

woman takes a selfie for social media

Sometimes you can't think of the perfect caption for your Instagram post. I love using lyrics as my captions because there's so many great lines in songs that just seem to fit in the moment. Here are some lyrics that could work for your selfie or pictures of you with your friends!

Keep Reading...Show less

Bruce Springsteen's Top 7 Lyrics

Everything Bruce says in his classic rock songs.

bruce springsteen album cover born in the usa

Anyone who was born and raised in New Jersey (or anywhere really) knows of Bruce Springsteen, whether or not they like him is a whole other situation. I hope that his hundreds of classic rock songs and famous high energy performances, even in his sixties he can put on better concerts than people half his age, are at least recognizable to people of all ages. Love him or hate him (I identify with the former) you have to admit that some of his songs and interviews have inspirational quotes and lyrics.

Keep Reading...Show less

New England Summers Are The BEST Summers

Why you should spend your next summer in New England.

Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

illustration of the fibonacci sequence

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments