Let's be real; College is scary as heck. I remember applying to ten different schools and freaking out about how to decide where to go and what to think. As someone who transferred due to picking the wrong school to begin with, trust me when I say picking a college is HARD. So, when I transferred, I came up with some criteria to help me pick the PERFECT place for me (bear down!!). Please enjoy:
1. Do they have everything I could want to study?
This seemed a little tedious when I was first applying. I thought I was dead set on doing political science. But, I changed my mind four times in just my first semester of college. Unfortunately, I was at a school with seven majors total at the time. I did not have the room to change my mind. When I transferred, I had all the extra room I could possibly want to change from political science to chemical engineering to philosophy to my major now PPEL (politics, philosophy, economics, and law). The benefit of having this extra room to change your mind is so extremely important.
2. Be Goldie Locks: Make sure the size is JUST RIGHT.
The first college I went to had 62 undergraduates. I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure the size is perfect for you. Sometimes a little too big is better than too small though. Weigh out the benefits of a big school versus a smaller school and use personal experience to figure out what you would prefer.
3. Study Abroad!
If study abroad is something you're passionate about, make sure it's offered! I know that sounds kind of weird but my first college didn't even offer study abroad. If this is an option you could want but don't even necessarily need make sure it's offered. It's always better to leave the door open.
4. Make sure there's a community that fits your needs.
For me, it was a Hillel or Chabad. For you, it could be a different religious organization, it could be a club that falls into your political belief, an honors society, greek life, whatever you want. It's always up to your own personal preferences. The more you research about the social aspect of the school, the more options you know you have to choose from.
Honestly, the best advice I can give to anyone looking for their perfect college is to VISIT! If a college looks great on paper but you get there and get the weirdest vibes or you get there and can't see yourself graduating, it's time to keep looking. College is at least four years of your life and it can be four AMAZING years. The work it takes to find your place is worth it. I didn't do enough research about where I was and I ended up not enjoying my first semester because I was not in the right environment. Do the research and remember, the more that's offered the more opportunities you will have and the more you can experience in college.