High school students are shoved into the expectations of their parents or teachers to get good grades, to choose a college and then to have an idea of what they want to do after college- all before they graduate. Once accepted by a few schools, as is the hope, they then have to go through and decide the one that they want to attend.Many make the choice of going to college with a plan already: going to one of three chosen schools, graduating with a certain major, and then heading into a dream career. There are others, however, that just barely know where they would like to go, or what they want to do and have to figure out the rest in their senior year.
There are many reasons for why to choose to attend a certain college, and most of the process is a list of choices you make early on. For myself, there were three main factors: tuition, distance from home, and atmosphere on campus. Tuition was important to me and for many others as well, because I would be the one paying for college, not my parents or any kind of savings. the distance from home is also important, because I didn't want to live at home, or be so close that my mom could visit after work (sorry mom), but I also didn't want to be a plane ride away for the majority of the year. in this way, my goal was to be three hours away from home, at the most, and at least an hour away. The last thing I really wanted to get right was the atmosphere, or the relationships, of the people on campus. I wanted a close, almost-like-family vibe, and teachers that cared or were attentive to the students because of the small class size and were easy to contact.
By the spring of my senior year, I had narrowed my choices down to two, the one I'm currently going to, and a school that was three hours away. The other school cost more, offered me more- so that the cost was less than where I am now- and had a great community of students. on the downside, it would cost a lot to get home, which meant that I wouldn't really be able to visit on weekends or family plans outside of the holidays. My current school, in contrast, had a slightly lower tuition- but would still cost more- was close enough to home that I could visit on weekends or meet halfway if I forgot anything, and the people, both students and professors, were almost like family. They cared about how I was doing, how my classes were going, and were open about how easy it was to know the other people on campus. It was an atmosphere of acceptance, and for me, it was something worth the extra money.
I chose my college based on several things outside of my major, but I would suggest that if you don't know what you want to do, go anyway. Choose a place that makes you feel comfortable, whether that's as a commuter or a student from the other end of the US, and choose a place where you have a lot of options or a lot of opportunities. The price limit is up to you, unless you aren't paying it, and the size is not that important unless you want to play sports. Know yourself, if you think a party school will hurt your ability to do your schoolwork, try to find another place to go. It's perfectly fine to go into it not sure of what you want to do. The classes you start out taking are general courses, but you might find inspiration in some of them to go into a certain field.
This is just my story, but to those who aren't sure of what they're going to do, are looking for clues on where to go- one of the best places to find help is the teachers you know best, to the parent or guardian that listens well, to the friend that you can confide in, and ask them for help. They know you and sometimes have better idea than you do on what you want. May you find the perfect place for you.