Choosing a school is perhaps one of the most difficult decisions one can probably make in their lifetime. You're not only spending money to go somewhere for the next chapter of your life, you're choosing somewhere where you feel at home, and when you know, you just know. Here are 10 signs you picked the perfect school.
1. It's the perfect size for you.
Big schools can be intimidating to some, just as small schools may be boring to others. Some people enjoy lecture halls of 200 whereas some prefer a more intimate setting where the teachers know your name. Whether you like big crowds, small communities or somewhere in the middle, choosing a school that reflects you is really key in feeling at home where you spend your next four (or more) years.
2. They have a good program for your major.
Even if you're undecided, there's a good chance you know the general direction you're going in, even if it's just going into humanities rather than the sciences. Different schools have different strengths, and picking a school that benefits you in regards to what you want to do is important. Let's just say going to art school if you want to be a biologist may not be the best idea, but if your school has a good program for your major, you'll know — it's likely one of the reasons you chose it.
3. You don't mind the schoolwork.
While this can be a stretch for many, doing schoolwork that you know is going to benefit you in your future can make you feel really good — especially since taking classes for your specific major can make you feel like you're really gaining knowledge that you're actually going to contribute to the rest of your life. Let's just say taking pre-calculus in high school didn't really make me feel like I was on the path to becoming a journalist.4. You click easily with those around you.
If you picked the perfect school, chances are the people you're surrounded by are people just like you, or share some of the same values as you do. Even if you aren't all the same political affiliation, religion, gender or race, you can understand and willingly learn from those around you as they do with you. Maybe your school is big on politics or inclusion - either way, you feel good talking to those around you and can have meaningful conversations and it's not hard to make friends.5. You can walk around campus and feel at ease.
One of the most important aspects of college is feeling safe, after all, it is your home. I go to school in a town in New York, and let's just say the neighborhood isn't exactly the friendliest. But there are enough safety precautions put in place that I never feel endangered, even walking around campus at three in the morning. Not only this, but you have to like your campus, at least to a certain extent. There are many days where the weather is so beautiful that I can just walk back to my dorm and feel thorough serenity looking at the trees, breathing in the air and taking in the people around me, and somehow, it just feels good.6. The professors are inspiring.
The very first college class I ever had, I realized that it wasn't difficult to look up to my teachers; not just as people who passed on their knowledge to me, but individuals who have done great things with their lives. In one way or another, if you love your school, you'll love at least a few of your professors too. They inspire you and give you information that you can actually apply and it can easily make a terrible day into a great one.7. You like the surrounding area.
Whether it's the campus, the town, the state or even the general proximity of your university, it's the place where you want to be. In the South, school will be different than in the Northwest, but wherever you are, you probably like the area if you're going to school there. It could be the parks around you, nearness to your favorite cities, access to museums that spark your interests or even just being close (or far) from family; if you like it, you made the right choice.8. You have school spirit.
Maybe you don't go to every single football game, or maybe you do and dress in your school's colors like your life depends on it. School spirit isn't just limited to sports, you can be spirited just by being passionate about what you're involved in there. You love your school and it shows; enthusiasm about any aspect of your school means you're likely there for a reason.
- 9. You can do things you enjoy there.
Whether it be going to great parties, joining sororities or fraternities, playing Quidditch or joining the Film Club, your school fills all of your interests and you can express yourself and get involved in the ways that you enjoy. You never really feel like you don't belong, even if your interests are limited, there's a club for that, you've just got to go out there and find it and make the most of your time there.
10. You feel comfortable.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider in the college that you've chosen is that you feel comfortable there. There's nothing worse than feeling like an outsider, feeling alone or feeling unsafe in the place that you're paying money to attend. There's a lot to consider when choosing a school, but the bottom line is, you have to feel safe. This next chapter of your life is yours; you shouldn't have to spend it somewhere that doesn't feel right to you.
Choosing the perfect school isn't easy and every school has its ups or downs, no matter the prestige of the institution. Once you know, you'll really know, and it can be the best four years of your life and really prepare you for great things post college education. So choose wisely and remember to look at the positives; often times, there are many more than you think.
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