6 Factors To Consider When Choosing A College

6 Factors To Consider When Choosing A College

A decision not just for four years, but for your life
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As May quickly approaches, so does college deposit time. Just when you thought the stress was gone when you finished applications, decision time roles around. Most students have a top choice in terms of which college they would like to attend; however, there are many things to take into consideration before placing that deposit down to hold your place for next year!

1. Money.

This is something that you tend to overlook during the application process. You apply to each school that sparks your interest, and hope that you get enough financial aid or scholarships to make the cost reasonable. If you love the school, it may seem worth it; however, take the time to imagine yourself the following years upon graduating. Will you be making enough money to pay back expensive student loans?

2. Major.

Surely the schools on your list will have your major; however, take the time to go through each college's website to learn more about their specific program. Go through the course catalog and see the different courses within that major. It also would not hurt to reach out to a professor in that department with specific questions. By doing more research, you can see which program is more suited to you and where you see yourself after college.

3. Size.

The size of the school was my main factor in choosing schools to even put on my list. Many people do well in large university settings; however, that is not me. I needed a smaller school that had smaller class sizes and a close-knit community. Can you see yourself in a large lecture hall in a class of over 200 students, or does a class that maxes out at 20 sound more appealing?

4. Location.

Are you a city person or are you a rural person? Each type of location has its own perks. The rural areas are probably surrounded by small towns and give you the small town feel. Living in the city, you will experience the hustle and bustle. In some cases, you can find the best of both worlds and find a school that is located in a smaller town, but close enough to the city that it is just a quick train ride away.

5. Internship opportunities.

Each school will have different opportunities based on their location and connections. Schools in or close to bigger cities will have more connections with larger corporations in the city, compared to schools farther away. That being said, many schools offer internship opportunities in different parts of the country. Most schools will have their internship sites or places in which alumni have done internships listed on their website.

6. Job placement rate.

This is an important aspect that I know did not initially cross my mind. When you Google a school, type in "job placement rate" and you will find a general percentage of alumni who receive jobs within the first year after graduating. This is important to think about because if you are going to a more expensive school, you will have student loans that you need to pay back. Also, you are investing your money into a college that will help you get a job after graduating.

Now that you have received the news from your schools, you will probably sit down with your parent(s) and have the discussion of where you will go. You may have fallen in love with a school that may not be financially feasible and you are just hitting that reality now. That being said, each school has its pros and cons. My decision was fairly easy; however, the school that I am at was not my first choice. My top choice was too far away from home for my liking. My other top choice was too expensive. When I looked at my chosen school in terms of some of the factors listed above, I knew it was the right one for me and I am glad that I made that choice.

Cover Image Credit: Andrew Neel

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Teaching Is An Amazing Career, It's More Powerful Than We Give It Credit For

Teaching is a career that is heavily overlooked — it is much more powerful than people realize.

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When it comes to teaching, it's not always easy or fun. But, let me ask you this: what career really is easy or fun all the time? Being challenged can beneficial. Otherwise, you are just going through the same routine over and over. Teaching will definitely keep you on your toes because there's always something happening.

People seem to think teachers just lecture on information that they hope their students remember for the test. You know what? Those people are dead wrong. Teaching is more than that. Teaching means having the passion and drive to educate children. Teaching is turning something dull to something that students will find more interesting and enjoyable.

Teaching is also about providing tools and other resources for students in order for them to succeed, especially the ones who tend to struggle in school. Being able to give those tools to help them accomplish their goals is extremely rewarding. A teacher will work with a student who is behind on his/her reading skills to have him/her be right at the level he/she needs to be by the end of the school year. Not many jobs provide a reward quite like guiding a student, if not more, to success.

Although it focuses on academics, teaching is not just about that. Sure, being an effective teacher is key, but there are other aspects that are just as significant. As a teacher, you also have to connect with your students. Knowing your students on a personal level is so important. The connection can build respect that will, in turn, help them to succeed. Plus, students spend more time with you on a day-to-day basis than they do with their parents — isn't that frightening? So, you have to be able to support them and let them know them that you are there for them if they are having trouble.

Additionally, that connection you build with your students can last a lifetime. You can witness the growth of a student right in front of you. In fact, I am still very close with some of my teachers from elementary school. Many of them inspired me to become a teacher. Because of those great bonds I built, I had the opportunity to intern with some of my past teachers, which was a rewarding experience for everyone. Being able to develop such a connection with someone so different in age is something that is so powerful and that doesn't come with many other careers.

Teaching is so amazing. There are so many layers and beautiful aspects to it. Again, it can be difficult, but it's also a lot of fun. Not many people can say they have fun and laugh every day at work. I also truly believe that not many other people can say their careers provide as rewarding of a feeling as teaching does. To be able to make such a difference in someone's life is an incredible thing. Teaching is my passion. I know teaching will not be only gratifying but something that will bring me pure joy.

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