As spring approaches, lots of high school seniors are wrestling with the huge decision of where they're going to college. I've been there, done that! I'm no expert on choosing colleges, but I know the pressure and stress that goes along with it. Today's blog post isn't going to make that decision for you, but I hope to offer some words of encouragement that might take some of the pressure away or help put you at peace about your decision.
Money is such a huge factor when making a decision. For me it was the root of my problems (if you want to hear more about that, click here to read my post about choosing my college)! I actually didn't get to go to my first choice college (Baylor University) because of money. It was super hard to go through that, but I ended up so incredibly happy at my school (University of North Texas)!
This is super cliche, but telling myself, "if it's meant to happen, God will make it happen," really helped put me at ease. You could be attending the most expensive college in the U.S., and if that's where God is choosing to place you, He will make a way. I was confident God would find a way for my family to afford Baylor, but He had other plans for me. It was so hard for me to accept that, but He was right--UNT was where I was supposed to be. Not to mention, COLLEGE IS EXPENSIVE, GUYS! Keep in mind that you are SO lucky to even have the opportunity to go to college--even if you're at community college or trade school!
Now I'm not telling you to pick the cheapest school--because I had cheaper options and still picked UNT. BUT, don't beat yourself up if you can't afford your first choice. It doesn't mean college will be horrible for you. I know it's so hard to accept, and things might not be perfect at first, but just repeat the mantra above to put your mind at ease a bit. And PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
Distance is a common thing college-bound students consider, as well. Some people want to get super far away, and others want to stay close to home. In my case, I wanted to stay pretty close (I didn't want to be further than 3 hours from home).
My main reason for being close to home was because I wasn't too pumped about going to UNT, and I wanted to be able to go home a lot (which I ended up loving UNT and wanted to stay in Denton for the weekend to hang out with friends. Also I always had projects that required me to go to the studio). While I don't go home near as much as I thought I would, being close to home is really nice! My parents frequently drive through Denton, so I get to see them quite a bit, and if I don't have time to stay a full weekend at home I can just stay for one night!
While I do love being close to home, I would be totally okay even if I lived 10 hours away. Once you get to college and find your people, being away from home isn't near as bad!
A wide range of majors is always something to look for in a college. It's very common for college students to change their major, so you want to have options if you end up doing so (I changed my major in October, click here to read more about that). If I'd had it my way senior year of high school, I would've picked a school that only had fashion design and a few other art majors. Boy, oh boy, am I glad I didn't! Thankfully, my mom veered me away from that (even though I didn't like it) and encouraged me to attend a university. And I'm so glad I did! If I had attended an art school with limited majors, changing my major would have been significantly more difficult and stressful. But luckily, I had pretty much endless options and didn't have to worry about transferring schools.
While I do encourage a larger school with more major options, by no means am I discounting schools that specialize in certain majors. If a student is confident in keeping the same major, those schools are great for fine-tuning the skills needed for that career in such detail that a university might not offer. I just encourage larger schools with more options because majority of students will end up changing their majors!
Another great aspect of attending a university/state school is the "college atmosphere." I'm not huge into football by any means, but I love tailgates/parades/homecoming/etc, and you don't get that at most specialized schools. Going to a university also allows you to become a part of Greek life (I'm so glad I didn't miss out on that opportunity), cheer on your sports teams, and live on campus (those dorms are cramped but can be so much fun + convenient). I know some specialized schools offer some of these things, but you're guaranteed them at a university!
There's a million other things to consider for college (size of school, do they have your major, what's their housing like, the town it's in, etc), but the topics I talked about today were very important to me and played a huge role in my decision making!
The best advice I can offer when making a decision is to make a list of what aspects are most important to you, pray about it, talk to your parents, and RELAX. You are in no hurry to make a decision at this point. I waited until last minute, and ended up loving my decision. And like I said earlier, if it's meant to happen, God will make it happen (just like if it's NOT meant to happen, God won't allow it to happen). College is a very important part of your life, and it's a big deal, but you have to trust that it will turn out the way it's supposed to.
If you have any questions regarding this topic, always feel free to reach out to me! You can reach me through the "Contact" tab, or DM me on social media. This is such an exciting time of your life and you should ENJOY it, not stress about it. Best of luck to those of you heading to college, wherever you may be going :)
This is usually where my favorite posts reside. Whether it be fitness, health, home, food, or just day-to-day life, it can be found here.