Start the college process early. Visit a lot of colleges and take into account of where it is located, surroundings, what people do on the weekend, etc. --Make a pro/cons list when narrowing down.
Try to isolate specific positive aspects of each college that you visit and then compare them before making a decision. This will help you remeber all of the aspects that you enjoyed and determine which is most important to you.
Pick a place you can stand the sight of, make sure the rooms and food are good, and look around for somewhere with a good academic reputation. Studying comes first, but if it's a 51%-49% with socializing. Friends make it worth suffering through academically even if your professors are bad. Get involved in a few things you care about and don't overextend yourself.
I would advice them to allow for all possibilities when searching for a school. A student, or parent, may think that a particular characteristic is essential for the school to be a perfect fit but that may not end up being true. The right college is the one where the student overall feels the most comfortable regardless of its prestige or any other specifc factor. In order to make the most of their college experiences, students need to be open to new experiences. They should try doing things that they have never tried before and take risks, both inside and outside the classroom. Colleges exist to broaden student's horizons and further their education about all topics, not just academic ones. College is also an opportunity to learn about yourself, to learn your limits and then surpass them. There is rarely another opportunity in life to be exposed to and experience the wide variety of opportunities that colleges provide. Basically, a student's college experience is what they make of it. Even if it is not their first choice school, embracing everything a school has to offer can make their college experience a valuable and enjoyable one.
Go to the campuses that you are thinking fo attending. It is imperative that you speak with students that are not being paid by the admissions office because they will give you a biased account. I worked for the admissions office for a while and just stopped working until I got fired because I was tired of being paid to creatively misrepresent (read lie).
You should trust your gut about where you attend because only the student will no which place is right for them. Do not question your gut if you have a visceral response because it is probably right.
Good luck to all prospies.
A sophomore explains that places to buy food close early in UR. Also, the social scene is centralized around Greek life.
A sophomore suggests considering a potential major when registering for classes for freshman year.
A sophomore shares that she enjoyed getting involved in only one activity in order to avoid overcommitting herself.
A senior advises to get involved on campus during freshman year but be sure to not overcommit your time.
A senior wishes he knew that the UR campus is farther away from the city than he would like.
I would say that the most important thing about picking a school is finding one that fits you.
Don't start the process too early and parents, don't pressure your child to apply/go to a school they aren't interested in.
Visit the schools while they are in session. Do not attend the open houses at the colleges unless you do so before the middle of your junior year in high school. Set up an appointment for a campus visit that is not attended by 30 other college bound students, it is more personal that way and you feel more comfortable in asking questions. Once you have narrowed down to a few schools, schedule an overnight visit there and stay in a dorm. This way you get a sense of the atmosphere of college life there.
i can honestly say that even though this school was my last choice school, in reality it should have been my first choice. i say this not just because i attend this instituition, but because i truly believe it. i am a sophomore but as soon as i stepped foot in its doors, i had so much to look ahead to, academically and personally. my first choice wasspelman and i recieved a full academic tuition scholarship from Ohio State as a Morrill Scholar. i turned the scholarship becuase at that time i felt that i needed to get as far away as i could from ohio! now i realize i made i dumb and great decison all at one time. currently, ive completed 2 yrs of undergrad research, am still a tour guide, and head cheorgrapher on the hiphop dance team, and have learned so much about myself through being in college. i concluded all my tours with this statement... a school is suppose to be an extension of the individual, all the fame, prestige, and recognizition it gets doesnt matter because those are abstract concepts. what is conrete is that you follow what the heart and soul tells you
Visit as many schools as you can to get a feel for what you want for your college experience. After visiting a few colleges I realized that I needed to be at a larger school than I originally planned on to be happy with my college experience. Also, realize that you will never be 100% happy about everything about your college experience, be open to changes and prepared for some disappoints anywhere you go, that's part of life. Finally, just make the best of your college years and enjoy!
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