As someone who never had it all figured out, I was daunted by the whole college search process. It’s hard to balance picking a major while finding a school you like with the right program. Just when you think you’ve found the right school, you realize it doesn’t offer the major you want. Then you start second guessing and wondering what it is you really want to do for a living.
In the end, if you’re unsure, the best route is to focus on a school and an environment where you feel comfortable. Figuring this out means taking trips to visit and tour all the schools on your list. You have to be there to know if it feels right. Yes, finding a school with the right academic program for you is important. But if you’re unsure of the future, your major might change and it won’t matter how good that program is.
I’ve seen plenty of roommates and friends change majors. Part of the college process is exploring different possibilities, and sometimes that leads you to discover that you want to do something completely different with your life than you initially thought going in. So why base you decisions solely on a specific academic program? It’s easier to change majors than schools.
And yes, when making this decision, you should probably look through the piles of mail that schools send you. That’s how I found Gannon.
Chances are, the schools you have in mind are either the local schools you pass all the time or big name schools with big reputations that are out of state. But there are many more options than that and those other options are sitting on your dining room table gathering dust. So read a few of them, and if they interest you, put them on your list and go check them out. Just because you hadn’t heard of it before doesn’t mean you won’t like it.
Most importantly, make this decision your decision. Don’t pick a school because your parents liked it, or your friends are all going there. Your parents will like any school that makes you happy and offers a quality education. Your friends will still be there when you come home for breaks and you’ll find plenty of people to hang out with at whatever school you choose.
College is a time where you can finally start to have a say in your education, so pick the school that you enjoy most and that you feel will make you successful.