They are all around. Some are hidden, like a snake in the grass, and others are in plain sight. What on Earth am I talking about? Well, college decisions of course!
As the clock ticks and the time gets closer and closer to start making some serious decisions about college and an intended major, aka your future, it can be easy to be overwhelmed.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a college and each one is just as important as the last. Uncertainty is normal, expected, and okay! After all, we are all just learning and growing. Everyone has their own choices to make now and everyone chooses (ha) to deal with it in their own way. This is the time where people should begin to define themselves less by their friend’s or parent’s standards and expectations but their own.
During this entire decision making process, an identity will form that will serve you well once you go off into college.
Let me reiterate this -- I hope I am not belaboring the point -- everyone has their own decisions to make about college. So instead of going through the long, impending list of decisions that you need to make about going to college, I am going to go through some of the things that may very well be holding you back from choosing one.
Before even thinking about choosing a college, you may want to go ahead and pick out a major. This may be the most difficult part. Maybe you have a dream college in mind already but what in the world will you study? It is not an easy question and it requires much self-reflection. Even after you finally choose a major, you may find yourself drawn to another in the process of pursing it. That’s okay!
Remember, you can always pursue a minor with your major, double major, or you may even decide to change you major altogether! You can even apply as undecided to a college. Nothing is set in stone and it is ok and even common for people to change their major once, twice, or even thrice (yes thrice is a real word). Just remember, you are going to college. So, you better pick a major that you have interest in.
Some people may decide to go downtown for college and some may prefer to get out of town or even out of the state or country. Do not let the location of a college hold you back from applying to it. Remember, college is meant to be your temporary home away from home. In this age of social media and cell phones, your home city (or state) is only ever one call, tweet, snap or even car ride away! Plus, traveling away from your native city to go to college just adds to the whole experience.
For example, as a Texan girl, it would be interesting to know how the rest of the 49 states lived without an HEB and for some it may be interesting to know how they live without a Whataburger.
Now for the big C word: Cost. This is probably one of the biggest deterrents to picking a college. College is expensive. Yes, it is good to be financially responsible and think ahead but do not let cost stop you from going to a college. There are so many ways to get aid from scholarships to grants and don’t forget about the FAFSA (Reminder to file NOW)!
Also, you could always apply for a work study or consider getting a part time job. With careful planning and consideration, even loans could help. Sit down and make a plan. Do not stop until you feel comfortable enough to go ahead and go to the college of your choice. Don’t pause at the price tag, you can always find a coupon somewhere.
Don’t feel pressured to make the perfect college pick but just try to make the best one for you. Take a deep breath and relax -- you’ve got this! You’ve also got choices to make and things to decide. Go! Go! Go!