Alright folks. The day is approaching. May 1st. Decision day. I know, I know- it’s scary and overwhelming and what if I make the wrong decision? What if I can’t decide? What if I just don’t go to college? I can imagine a lot is going through your head at this juncture- I’ve been there, and not too long ago. So here are some things to consider when making your decision, and what helped me when it was time to get down to business.
First and foremost- trust your gut.
I think it’s easy to get caught up in comparing numbers and stats and which of the schools you’re looking at have better locations, or dorms, or meal plans. And true, those things matter to a degree. But don’t undermine or undervalue your feelings about the things that can’t be defined. Listen to yourself, and trust yourself. A huge factor in my decision to come to Whitman wasn’t its size or the programs it offered, but how I felt when I was here. I just felt at home, like I could see myself being happy here, and imagine living and learning and growing here. Not for any particular reason, it just felt right. And that’s just as valid as conclusions backed by stats. So pay attention to those little inklings- I did, and I am so happy. I learned to trust myself to know what was best for me, and it paid off in a big way.
Be a little selfish.
Another huge part of your college decision, for better or worse, whether you want to admit it or not, is pressure from those around you. It’s hard to not be influenced by what your parents or your peers think, or what you feel like you should do. And, yes, your parents’ and friends’ opinions can be helpful. But in the end, you’re the one who’s going to be living with your decision. Not them. So be a little selfish. Really take some time to evaluate what you want and how you can best make a decision to suit your needs and desires. As long as the decision you make is for you, and not anyone else, it will all be just fine.
Compromise is necessary.
There are other factors that can and do influence your decision- price, distance from home, size, academic programs, etc. These things are all very important as well. The fact of the matter is that you won’t be able to get everything exactly the way you want it. It’s inevitable that you’re gonna have to make some compromises. That’s the nature of this beast- not everything is ever going to be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be good. Coming to terms with that, and preparing for it is valuable and important. When it comes down to it, you’re going to need to weigh all the pros and cons in order to find a solution that meets as many of your needs a possible. It’s a bit of a game, and it will end in at least some form of compromise, but again, that’s not a bad thing.
With that, good luck!! I wish you all the best in this exciting time, and have faith that you will make the decision that is best for you!