When it came time for me to start looking at which colleges I would apply to I had no idea there were so many things I had to consider! I mean, I’m not that oblivious, but you have things to consider like how far are you willing to go away from your home and if there are organizations offered to help you meet new people. Stuff like that you know? The process of looking through colleges and what makes them unique can be a little overwhelming, and let me tell you it can be hard to make a decision! So I am here to share with you how I made my last-minute decision and how you can avoid my mistakes by choosing the perfect college right off the bat!
Before I mention the tips to choosing the right college, I will give you my back story of how I found the right school for me. If you would like to just look at the tips you can scroll down past my story. 🙂
In my previous post I told the story of how I came across my passion through a class called Visual & Graphic Communications (VGC) and how much I truly loved it. Just a heads up you will probably hear me talk about the class a lot so prepare yourselves… Anyway, through that class I came across an art college called the School of Advertising Art (SAA) and fell in love with it. Right away senior year I had applied, gotten accepted, and enrolled into SAA because I believed it was my best shot to getting a successful art education. I was so sure about this school that I didn’t even think to look at other art schools around me to see if they suited me better, and that there was my first mistake. To give you an idea about this school it’s a nationally recognized art school, costs $26,000 a year in tuition, and is located in Kettering, Ohio. Your eyeballs are probably bulging at the cost in tuition, but just by going there you have a higher chance of getting jobs at Apple, Google, or even Disney. You can do your research and find that I am telling you the truth, but I would know because I went through orientation and everything…
Even though it’s an amazing school as time got closer to summer things began to sink in and I began to rethink my decision. Was $26,000 acceptable for me? Was I really willing to move two and half hours away from my family & friends? One of the biggest reasons that made me reconsider what school I wanted to attend was my best friend Rose. She was going to IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis) where her older sister currently attends and was CONSTANTLY bugging me about how I should go there and attend Herron, the art school that kind of goes with IUPUI. For the longest time I resisted looking into it because I already had everything set up at SAA and had no clue how to go about changing it. This was my second mistake. After about two months I eventually gave in and ended up switching because everything kind of fell into place. It was affordable for me, it’s only about an hour away from home, and I was able to get a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications rather than just an Associate’s degree at SAA. It was like a sigh of relief when I made the decision to switch because Rose finally shut up and I felt more confident that school would be great. So that is my story of how I chose my school and now everything is set to go and I start August 21st!
If you kindly read my story up there then you are aware of the mistakes I made when it came to choosing which college I was going to attend. So if it is any help to you I am going to include some tips to help you choose the right one for you.
Find Out What It Is You Want To Do!
The best thing to do is find out what it is you really enjoy doing and research colleges that offer majors that go along with whatever you choose to do. If you are struggling to decide, but are attending college, that is okay! Most schools have you start off doing core classes like math and english so it isn’t until sophomore year of college that a decision really needs to be made. All throughout your first year you will come across things that will likely lead you to something you love and make that decision a little easier. For me, I knew that I wanted to go for art in someway and came across graphic design.
2. Research Colleges That Give You Everything That You Are Looking For!
Do you want to join the greek life? Do you want a large campus or a small one? There are so many things that you have to consider and some colleges may not offer greek life or happen to be in your price range. This is why you have to boot up that good ‘ol computer and start looking! Make a list of all the things that you want to have while at college and look for ones that offer you all of them or close to it.
3. Make Sure It Is Affordable!
You should avoid student loans like they’re the plague! That is money that you have to repay and can land you in debt that may be hard to pay off. If you do have to take out loans make sure you only take what you need and nothing more because like I said, taking too much will lead you to student debt that you most likely will still be paying off when you are forty.
4. Is There Student Housing On Campus?
Are you looking to live on campus in dorms when you go to college? Some colleges require freshman to live on campus and others give you the option to choose. If you do choose to live in dorms you have to consider being assigned a roommate and/or co-ed living. If you are looking to live off campus then you have to make sure there is affordable housing close by for students. When living outside of dorms you want to try to live as close to school as you can so it is easier for you to make it to classes on time or find parking. I was lucky enough to find an apartment that helps students and is right down the street from my campus!
5. Are You Going To Get A Job?
Do you plan to get a job during school? Look around the schools you are considering and see if there are any jobs that offer part-time positions for students and can be flexible with your schedule. Having a job would help you pay for any expenses that you may have like rent or food depending on your situation. However, having a job may interfere with your school work and your focus on keeping up with it. Some schools make it a point to only allow students to work for so long to avoid that happening. If you do get a job, limit yourself to working 25 hours a week to keep yourself on track.
6. Go On Campus Visits!
This is a crucial thing to do! If you are able to do so, I strongly advise you to visit the schools you are considering because that might be the deciding factor. Is the atmosphere right? Is it a place you are willing to spend a lot of your time at? You want a campus that you instantly fall in love with and feel at home in, because believe it or not it’s the place you will spend the most time at for four long years!
There you have it! Those are my tips to help find the right college for you! College is such an exciting adventure to experience and happens to be where most people discover who they really are. My first year of school begins soon and if you would like to keep up with everything I learn and share on here enter your email and follow me! I promise you won’t regret it. 🙂