Listen To Your Gut, Not Your Friends: Choosing Your College List

So, I’m sure you’ve started your research in finding a list of colleges to continue your studies after secondary schools. Those who have not started, you may want to start looking now. Well, your parents may be topping up a few of choices of theirs, your friends might be comparing their choices with yours too! When you want to pursue your higher education, make sure that you choose the college with your gut! Here are some reasons why you should go with your gut when creating your college list.


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1. Your friends may play a big role in your life, but it is time for you to play solo! Consider about the academic programs, extracurricular offerings, even location & climate, but recognise there’s more to finding a school than that. All those are important things to think about in choosing colleges. Dr Kat says, “The next four years are going to be crucial to your future and a little research now will pay huge dividends later on.” She encourages students to research each college on their lists to find why they want to go there. “If you don’t know why you’re applying to a certain college, then don’t apply.”, she says. “You are the one who has to live with your decision and you will not be happy if you’re not at a college that’s right for you.”


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2. What about rankings? Get a list of popular colleges. You can create your own criteria and judge colleges based on those priorities that are most important to you. Look into the curriculum, courses & professors, research, internship opportunities & campus life. These are a few things to determine the colleges are good for you academically, socially & financially.


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3. You should know what you want from your college experience. It is important to know what you want but not because “Tom is applying there,” or “There is Starbucks in the campus”. You should look at the details rather than the surface of a college. Go for a campus tour to feel & imagine you already are a student there. If you can’t imagine yourself in that environment, then perhaps it is not a college that you want to go for.


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4. “I think I’m applying to Havard”. If you are applying to a highly selective college, open up to discuss with your friends & family. They might share different opinions, but stand firm on your decision. You must feel right about what you are going for. Dr Kat says, “if you do the proper amount of research – dig into both prospective colleges & yourself – you will soon see that many schools fit your criteria.”


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5. My parents went there. You should not let your parents make the decision but yourself. Follow your research to decide on the college you want to study in, experience it during campus tour.

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6. My friends & I are still looking at the same school. You can visit the colleges together with your friend so that you guys can share the opinions and ideas about the colleges. If your friends do not enjoy the environment but you do, you have to stand firm on your decision. You can always connect with your friends through: Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook & etc.

Put your needs & wants as priorities. Different people might have different opinions. Take your priorities into consideration because you need to spend the next few years in the college! Choose what’s best for you! So are you prepared for college?

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Reference: IvyWise LLC (Listen to Your Gut, Not Your Friends: Choosing Your College List) 

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