Three years ago, at this time of the month, I was anxiously waiting to decide what college I would be attending. I'm penning this letter in hopes of shedding some light and maybe even helping some students who will be first-generation college students. I didn't have anyone in my family go to college here, so the experience was overall extremely nerve-wracking as I sat at my kitchen table with many acceptances (and of course many rejections too).
So let me first address the elephant in the room. Maybe, you didn't get accepted into that one school you had your heart set on. I know I didn't and instead I was placed on a waitlist (which I deem even worse than a rejection), but honestly, life doesn't end there. You probably have many other choices so don't dwell too much on the rejections! It's an exceptional feat even to get into a college so give yourself some credit!
Before you decide which college to attend make sure you review all the programs that are offered and attend the one that you feel will help you achieve your goals. Why do I stress this? A few months ago, I used to work in advising and a student came up to me saying that she wanted to declare her major in zoology. Unfortunately for her, our college offers no such programs! And she would have known had she checked out our website and the list of programs and program descriptions offered. When I asked her if she'd done some research before she enrolled, she admitted that she had not. SO FIRST THINGS FIRST: DO YOUR RESEARCH. The college you select will be your home for the next four years. Make sure you attend somewhere that you truly feel you can find your niche.
Another important thing that I feel is absolutely amazing in helping you decide is attending events such as "Accepted Students Day." During these events, you can mingle with faculty and currently enrolled students, so your best bet is to attend. There's nothing to lose by attending, but what you can gain is valuable insight on student life, programs, clubs, and even specific questions about scholarships and financial aid.
Lastly, and I know this one will sound horrible, don't just attend a college because your friend is attending it! Although that could be a minor factor, it should not be your priority. Chances are you and your friend will have different interests and you most likely won't even have the same classes or breaks.
Now. Take a deep breath. Focus on your acceptances and get to work!
Congratulations on making it here.