Websites, magazines, TV news outlets, and many more so-called “experts” constantly give their opinions on how students should make college decisions.
While many times they lend great advice, we believe it’s always best to start with the real experts – current college students! Maybe it’s in our DNA to start with the source, so we’ve compiled some common feedback from current or graduated students and developed three tips for choosing a school wisely.
1. The Little Things Count
While we are not downplaying academics (we realize it’s a given), many students find that you can easily overlook the common day-to-day items, such as dorm living, campus dining, nightlife, etc.
It’s important to understand that you’ll be living and growing up at your school of choice and the surrounding community for two to four years (depending on the school). And you will want to make sure that you not only enjoy the quality of education but the daily experiences that you will be having on campus.
And you will want to make sure that you not only enjoy the quality of education but the daily experiences that you will be having on campus.
If you’re not happy with the diversity of peers, or the options of food, and more, than those challenges will add up quickly against your positive experience, ultimately hindering whatever education you may feel you’re receiving.
2. One Point-of-View is Not Enough
When you are talking to other students or peers about prospective schools, do not simply get opinions from one person that you know that just happens to attend that school. While their opinions and feedback are important, you are only taking their view and it will not be a diverse reflection of the school overall.
When you visit campus, be sure to walk around and introduce yourself to other students and ask them what you want to know. You will be surprised how helpful current students will be and the information will be first-hand and current.
3. Join Groups and Clubs on Campus
This feedback is told over and over consistently from students, especially those who are attending a college that is not near their home.
When you first get to school you can be intimated by learning all of the ins and outs on campus, but you will eventually want to feel assimilated into the college community.
If you do not know anyone going into your school year, don’t panic because many students will be in the same boat as you.
A great way to meet new people is to get involved with clubs, activities, etc. Most schools will have announcements for group meetings and a student resource center for finding out more information.
You will mostly likely find a club that suits your interest and soon have more friends than you know what to do with!