As a senior in high school, getting into college is only half the battle. The second part comes shortly after, when you’re prompted to decide where to go. Sometimes it's hard to even know where to begin in the decision-making process. Sometimes the answer is clear, but many times it just isn't and there are many aspects that you may have to sacrifice as well as compromises that must be made before you can fully commit to one school for the next four (or more) years. So how do you make the biggest decision of your life?
This shouldn’t be a random choice and there are different things that are all equally important in deciding where you’re going to end up. Around the same time last year, I was struggling to choose between two schools out of seven−the other five didn’t seem entirely realistic for me personally and what I wanted to do. In the end it came down to making sacrifices, which is something that you have to prepare yourself for in the decision-making process. So what exactly should you focus on?
Personally, deciding where to go for school was based on a few different things. I could go to a closer, more inexpensive school that was widely-known in my state as a good school, or I could go a little further away and get better connections and a better program for my major−but for a higher price. I knew that I wanted my opportunities to be abundant and accessible, and I loved the school, but the price tag was daunting. Even with the highest scholarship available, I would still be paying more for this school than the other which made the decision extremely difficult for me.
Even if your dilemma isn’t a battle of cost, there are likely similar conflicts that you need to compare to decide which school is the best suited for your individual needs. The most important thing is to identify what’s most important to you. Step back for a moment and forget about the schools you already got into. Focus on what you were originally looking for when you were applying for schools. What did you think was the most important from that list?
When you go back to the main reasons that you applied for colleges in the first place, you’ll likely be reminded of what you really value in a school–and reveal which of your schools has exactly that. As long as you stay focused and remember what you originally looked for, you’ll be able to figure it out. The choice is yours, and it’s as simple as you make it.
Lead Image Credit: The Greatist on Flickr Creative Commons