National Decision Day is a huge milestone for high school seniors across the country.
May 1st marks the official day that those who have not made their final college decisions will commit to the college or university of their choice.
Whether you’ve made your decision or not, here are some tips to get you prepared for National Decision Day.
1. Have you answered all of your college questions?
There are many questions that students have when they are looking at a prospective college.
Can I see myself fitting in here? Does the campus life interest me? Will I live on or off-campus? What type of meal plans does the university have? What clubs will I be interested in joining? Have I looked into all scholarship opportunities?
All of these and more of your own personal questions are important in determining your final decision. If you haven’t made up your mind yet, create a check list and go back through your important questions.
Even if you have made up your mind, ensure that your college checks off on the majority of your important questions. These will help you visualize yourself at your selected school in the fall.
2. Do you have a back-up major?
It’s hard for an 18-year old high school senior to know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life. In fact, research shows that up to 50% of college students change their major at least one time before graduating.
Whether you think you’re set in your major for the next four years or not, ensure that your school has a solid backup plan for your first major. It doesn’t have to be related in any way, but ensure that you at least have a second option in mind should things change in the fall or the coming years.
3. Think about the best fit
Again, this goes back to taking into account the questions that you have about each college. You need to ensure that you pick the school that caters to your strengths both as a student, and as a young adult.
Focus on the things that are going to make you successful in life down the road.
4. Don’t be a follower!
Whether you’ve made your decision yet or not, don’t be a follower! Whether it be the classic “my girlfriend/boyfriend is going to such-and-such college so I am too,” or a student following in the footsteps of their parents, be your own person!
Don’t let the decisions and thoughts of others affect one of the most important decisions of your life. At the end of the day, it’s your decision. Keep it that way!
5. Try to ignore cultural pressures in your final decision
Lots of students end up basing their final decisions off of things that were cool in high school: partying, sports, or even the stereotypes of the students at the school.
Don’t be one of those students. Although attending a school with a good football team would be fun, that can’t be the sole basis of your decision.
Remember, academics are the most important, and while the pop-culture side of things can have an impact, that cannot in any way be the basis of your final decision.
6. Do what feels right!
At the end of the day, whether you’ve committed yet or not, make your decision based on what feels right. It’s where you are going to spend the next four years of your life at least, and is a life altering choice!
Take all things into consideration, and be comfortable with your decision.