Deciding on which college to attend is a difficult decision, trust me, I know. Choosing where you want to spend the next four important years of your life is a very daunting task. My decision process involved a lot of laying face down on the living room floor in indecisiveness. A lot of my friends had already picked what school they wanted to go to, which only added to the pressure. I know a lot of you seniors are getting down to the wire here, so I figured I would share what I learned in hopes to ease your final decision making process. And those of you who are juniors—keep this info in the back of your mind for next year!
- Make a pros and cons list. I made all kinds of lists, charts, and diagrams to compare the schools I was looking at. Things I would suggest including are cost, scholarship opportunities, distance from home and travel costs, dorms, classes/majors, faith life/community, extracurriculars, sports, etc. What is really important to you? Your college years are when you will start forming who you really are as an adult, so for me I knew I wanted an academically challenging school with a solid core curriculum (because I had no idea what I wanted to major in) and a school that was strong in its Catholic identity. Making a list will help you start to transfer your thoughts into something tangible to base your decision on.
- Talk it out. When I need to make a decision or something is bothering me, I talk about it. A lot. I like talking it out, because it often helps to solidify my decision or opinions. Sometimes you don’t realize you’re leaning towards one side until you vocalize it. Talking it out provides an opportunity to hear opinions from your parents and friends. They know you and seeing things from their point of view can also provide some clarity on your own thoughts.
- Pray! Ultimately, this should be what really seals the deal on your decision. Take it to God. He knows what’s best for you and how everything is going to end up, so why wouldn’t you want to consult the big guy? For my college choice, I prayed about it so much, just about right up to my decision deadline. I just kept feeling inexplicably drawn back to Ave. I loved the other schools I was looking at and was terrified of making the wrong choice, but when I thought about going to Ave, I eventually felt this overwhelming sense of peace. I can tell you for a fact that was some divine intervention right there, because I could not have made a better choice!
When it comes down to it, this really is your decision. Your parents can’t make this decision for you—no matter how many times I begged mine, they refused. Or they would try and tell me where to go, and I would just start whining and change my mind on them. Either way, take a deep breath, it’s not the end of the world. Make your list, talk it out, and be sure to pray about it! Best of luck in your decision and I hope to see some of you at Ave next year :)