I bet you clicked on this article because you're thinking of transferring or you're in high school starting your journey towards choosing a college to spend the next four years at. I've been there, roaming random college campuses and not knowing if that school or campus is the right move for you. So I thought I would write a guide to picking the perfect college for you, but I realized something.
There is no guide to picking the perfect college.
When you're trying to pick your perfect college, there isn't a checklist of things to look for. Picking the college that's right for you isn't something with concrete, step-by-step instructions. Knowing the perfect college for you also isn't just about the program you're going into. You could be going to the best school for your program but have the most miserable experience there.
It isn't just about the money either. I know that college is more than just a number, but it's one of the most important things that everybody looks at when they're looking for colleges. My parents told me while I was on my college hunt: “Forget the money, focus on the experiences and opportunities." That's what I did, too. I focused on a place that would make me happiest. I focused on a place that felt fitting for me. A place where I would feel like I fit in and was the perfect place.
Most importantly, I focused on a place that felt like home. This is a feeling that you know in your gut right when you step on campus. It wasn't a feeling that you could find on a checklist. Think of it like this: It was one of those feelings when you felt all of the puzzle pieces slide together to make the bigger picture.
My college has a great program and atmosphere for me. Was it the cheapest school I could've picked? Far from it. But was it the place that I knew I would call home for the next four years of my life? Absolutely.