In life, you don’t get to choose what circumstances life has given you, but in college, you do get to choose your home.
So, as seniors are beginning to apply, and juniors are beginning to search…for colleges and universities, that is, it’s no wonder why tensions and stress run high.
It can be easy to get lost in the statistics, academics, and even the plans of a picture-perfect dorm room that society tells us we must have. Although these things all have their place in the perfect college experience, there are a few factors students tend to omit when investigating their collegiate options.
Whether you choose to attend college in beautiful, golden-skyed California, the crisp, cool-aired New York, or anywhere between, the campus of your school matters. This is your home. Can you picture yourself on a cozy, inviting, old-fashioned campus? Or maybe a modern campus filled with art and ample bike paths is more tailored to you.
The surrounding city of the school you choose can often be overlooked. Even though at first it may feel as though you could get lost in the gigantic libraries, hallways, and coffee shops your school will provide, chances are that over time you will begin to search for something more. The city in which your school resides can provide just that.
Maybe the profession you wish to pursue is especially difficult to enter–requiring you to obtain some experience prior to beginning your career. Schools located in urban settings are bustling with opportunities for internships and activities.
Perhaps nature is important to you, and you love to explore. Schools with rural surroundings contribute to the happiness of nature-loving students with a passion for the outdoors.
That leaves suburban schools to be the happy medium–often with a short driving distance to both the excitement-filled city, and perfectly painted scenery.
As students, we all know how important food is. Even talking about school-hunting is making me hungry. Thankfully, colleges are starting to get the idea. Most schools have plenty of options–anywhere from salads to gigantic bowls of pasta, and even some vegan options. Some universities even have multiple dining halls, plus a number of fast food restaurants on campus. If you get the chance to tour your colleges of interest, making a stop at the dining hall is always a good idea.
Although your dorm room doesn’t have to be picture-perfect, it is still important to think about what style of living you prefer. At most schools, there are many different dorm halls. Some halls have dorms with private kitchens and bathrooms, and some have long hallways with an abundance of rooms that share one community bathroom. If what you are searching for is privacy, and a quiet place to focus on your homework, then privatized dorms may be the choice for you.
At the end of the day, college is what you make it. Your college experience is yours and nobody else’s. Only you can make the decision for yourself to get involved and place yourself somewhere that make you happy. Even though college-searching is stressful, just remember that only you are in control of your happiness.