Hey! Hope everyone is doing well and staying safe amidst all this chaos!
Even without the pandemic, the spring of your senior year in high school can still be pretty stressful, since you’re probably choosing a place to call home for the next four years of your life. I definitely remember struggling a lot with my own college decision two years ago, and dreading the regret I’d feel if I chose the wrong place. At the time, it seemed like the most important decision of my life and I was genuinely scared by its magnitude.
However, after being in college for nearly two years now, here are a few things I’d tell my indecisive high school self:
- Stop making lists of pros and cons. They’ll help you to a certain point, but if you’re an indecisive person, I’ve found that they can actually lead to more anxiety and uncertainty as you’ll keep searching for things to add to each list and never stop! If you’ve already gone over the basic logistics (cost, major opportunities, location) and are still frantically reading your list of pros and cons, maybe it’s time to step back and take a deep breath.
- Talk to students at the university! They’ll often provide much more realistic perspectives than the glossy promotional brochures you get in the mail. Ask lots of questions, not just about academics, but social life, atmosphere, food and clubs! All of these contribute to your college experience. (PS. if you’d like to know more about USC, ask us anything through the chat feature on our website!)
- Stop worrying about making the “wrong choice.” I definitely scared myself by thinking about the “what if” way too much! Even though it seems like a big decision, in the end, it’s not something that’s usually permanent. If you don’t like your experience, you have other options. For example, transferring is a totally admirable (and common!) thing to do! And if you end up loving your school, then even better!
- Your happiness matters! Sometimes people tend to get too caught up in rankings, or give into peer/parental pressure telling them to go to a specific school. If you can’t see yourself enjoying your college experience, no matter how ‘prestigious’ the school is, you might want to re-evaluate. College isn’t just a place to learn—it’s also a place to make new connections, grow as a person, and enjoy the next few years of your life.
- Trust your gut. After you’ve exhausted all your lists of pros and cons, College Confidential, and Reddit, remind yourself that your instincts are usually right! If you STILL haven’t been able to decide, flip a coin or roll a die and see how you feel. Go with your gut instinct and don’t second-guess yourself! Because ultimately, you will be able to succeed no matter where you end up going to school 🙂
I hope this was helpful for those who needed it! And good luck with your decisions and the rest of your senior year 💛