Being a transfer student I know the importance of picking the right school all too well. When picking a school there are two things that someone should consider. The first is will they be happy there. I have found that this is an important part of the college finding process. For example if you are someone who always needs to be doing something, make sure you don?t pick a desolate place. This was my case, having grown up in NewJersey and then going to school in Pennsylvania initially. However I found that I was unhappy and even thought my GPA was 3.8 I just could not stand the location anymore. The other thing to realize is despite popular opinion college is for learning, not for partying, not for saying you went to a good school. If someone picks a college for the name, let?s say Duke and they doing badly because the classes are too big and they do not get the help they need. Well then they have to pick again and transfer. Remember even if someone goes to a college they are not marred to the place and they can always transfer and try again.
I would tell a parent or student to choose a school that has a great academic program. The most important part about college is working hard to obtain excellent grades and knowledge for a future career. I would also tell the parent/student to look for a college with a small number of students. A small class size allows a student to receive one on one help from a professor. A professor is able to learn about the students in a smaller class to find out which students need more help than others. Also, a smaller school is better for the student's social life. He or she will be able to make friends with everyone who attends the school, rather than losing track of all the students at a large school. A small college lets people know each other on a more personal level and guarantees friendships for a lifetime.
Start early! I waited too long to make my decision and had to "settle" for a school with a rolling deadline for admission. I love the school that I am at but I think I could be in a better situation had I spent more time really focusing on what will make me happy. Happiness is the one thing you cannot, no matter what anyone says, buy or pay for in any way. Get an early start! Go out and make the BEST decision. Don't settle.
Figure out what you want most from a school, whether it is a lot of people or a smaller closer feeling. Figure out how far away you could stand to be from home, make sure you don't go farther than you feel comfortable. Lastly visit the school before you accept. On the tour/visit talk to people and get a feel of the campus; this is the best way to see if it's the right place for you. Most times you'll just know if you'll like it there. Once you find the right school just remember all the Freshmen are new too so don't be scared/nervous, just talk to people and be yourself.
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