Choosing a college can be an overwhelming experience; here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision!
1. Finances, Finances, Finances
When choosing a college, it is important to face the reality of the cost. Chances are, college is going to cost more than school-provided projections say it will, between books, class fees, holiday transportation to and from school, school supplies, meal plans, etc. Keep in mind that, if you are wanting to join a sorority or fraternity, that can be an additional cost of over $500 a semester. If you are planning on continuing to graduate school after earning your bachelor's degree, it is worth it to save money on undergrad school. If your dream school doesn't offer you any scholarships and will dig you or your parents into debt, it's worth considering the option of waiting to go there until you are earning a higher, more specific degree.
2. The Insta Post of You in the School's Shirt isn't Worth Four or More Years of Being Unhappy
Maybe you got into a really prestigious school, but your heart is set on the "state school" that you just visited. College is a very challenging time, and being somewhere you're excited about makes it easier to start life on your own. Following your heart is more important than what people will think of you. (People should be happy that you are choosing to get a higher education, not critiquing where you choose to go.)
3. It is Perfectly Fine to go to the In-state School
So what if a lot of kids from your high school are going there? College student bodies are so large and diverse, you will rarely see anyone you don't want to see. Besides, a familiar face every once in a while can be incredibly reassuring and comforting.
4. Consider Family and Travel
Moving hundreds of miles from family can be very hard, and can make traveling home for the holidays a nightmare! Is there an airport near your school? How will you get there?
5. Do Not Even Think About Picking a School with Your Friend or Significant Other
Friendships end, relationships end, people change. College is a time of personal growth, and you should allow yourself the independence of growing on your own. Avoid setting yourself up for disappointment when your high school best friend decides she has other friends or drops out and you're suddenly alone at a school that you didn't really want to be at in the first place.
6. Embrace Your Decision with Confidence and an Open Mind
Wherever your heart and your family guides you, make the most of it!