Are you a senior? Are you the parent of a senior? You are now within sixty days of having to submit a deposit to attend college in the fall. Yep, this is starting to get real! You are no longer in the hypothetical world of “Maybe this college would be a good fit” or “I might be able to manage being a plane ride away from home”, to a place where the rubber meets the road. It is time to drill down and get serious about sorting through your choices and making a decision. March and April are going to fly by. Here are some points to consider:
1. Climate-You need to be honest here, if you love warm weather you might not thrive on a campus that has a long, cold winter.
2. Distance-You have to ask yourself how important it is to be able to go home. Can you be a plane ride away? If a challenge arises, will you be able to manage if you are unable to return home?
3. Cost-This can be the heartbreak season for seniors that have received varying amounts of aid and scholarships from colleges. You may find that a college you love is unaffordable. Think carefully before you sign up for debt.
4. Programs-Take a deep dive into the programs that interest you and see if anything jumps out that makes a program at one college seem more attractive over one at another school.
5. Gut-Trust your gut, your instincts are there for a reason.
6. Own Your Choice-Most college graduates will admit that at some point in their college career, they had a moment where they felt they had selected the wrong school. If this happens to you, it is important to be able to look in the mirror and know that you made the choice to attend the college where you matriculated, no one else.
If you want to read more about coping while you are in college, I recommend a book called The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College, by Harlan Cohen. The link is below. Enjoy!