Well, it’s that time of year again. May 1st, when the months long college grind comes to an end, is rapidly approaching. You’ve poured your heart and soul into your applications, anxiously awaited your decision letters, and are now faced with the choice of where you’ll spend the next four years – a decision that’ll determine the rest of your life.
Well, not quite.
True, the above doomsday scenario that your entire future depends on your choice of college is a pretty popular one, but this is a dangerous misconception. Stats and anecdotes about a school are helpful, but are only a part of the story. The intangibles, ranging from the spirit of the students and faculty to the overall atmosphere of student happiness, are at least as important as what you’ll read on US News and College Confidential.
That said, you’re still left with a million and one different pieces of information, and an impending decision deadline that feels closer than ever. At times like this, remember that it’s more important to find the college that makes you feel at home rather than the one with the highest ranking or lowest acceptance rate. No pros/cons list can show you the future, and no number can tell you which school is the best. Visiting campus, attending admitted students’ days, and learning as much as you can about the school and student life – by reading blogs like this, for instance – are the only ways to get an insider’s view of a potential school. The answer to your college question has to come from within, and though it’s undoubtedly an intimidating choice to make, trust me – it’s not an end-all.
The college you attend doesn’t define you. It’s what you do once you’re there, and whether you take advantage of all of the opportunities and become invested in the community, that play more of a role in determining your future.