Happy New Year! I’m not sure about you but mine is off and running. As I speak to senior students (including my own) the discussion is always about college decisions this time of year. It can be stressful, many emotions involved and lots of questions.
- Will I fit in?
- Will I be just a number?
- Will the coursework be too difficult?
- Will my high school friends stay my friends?
- I’m already thinking I’ll miss my family, girl/boy friend, Church, etc.
- I’m nervous about living in a dorm with a stranger
- Do I rush a sorority/fraternity?
These are just some of the sound bites rushing around in your senior’s head and hopefully (prayerfully) being communicated with you or someone who can properly assist them in working through the emotions.
It is very important when deciding on a University to attend, that a student (and parent) are not focused on football teams, legacy status and/or simply where a best friend is or will be going.
“FIT” is a big deal. I can almost predict when a student chooses a school for the wrong reasons, how long before they call for transfer assistance or before coming home.
The most important factors when choosing a college in my opinion and experience are:
- Environment – how does the student fit in socially & does it feel safe.
- Make-up of student body – male/female, multicultural, etc.
- Feel of campus – general vibe
- Size – small, med or large
- location – big city, small town
- Driving proximity to home or airport
- Major & ability to stay at the same school for 4 years or more to complete education
- Greek Life community – large or small %
- Outdoor Life – parks & recreation
- Getting around – bike, moped, car, bus routes
- NCAA sports – do you care & if so campus life surrounding seasons
Although this is not a complete list, I believe it’s an important one, based on professional and personal experience.
Final advice, take the time to visit before deciding, stay the weekend and get a “real” feel for the campus and community. Pray often about this decision-its a BIG one.
In Your corner,