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Help With Your College Decision

Choosing a college can be very taxing on your nerves. The decision will flavor the rest of your educational and professional development. Selecting a college is not something to be taken lightly, but making solid judgment calls require clear thinking. You cannot fill your mind with stress and anxiety, or you will impair your ability to make a sound decision.

Just relax. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay, there’s really no need to freak out. Here are five tips that’ll help make your college decision a little bit easier.  

1. The choice is entirely up to you.

You can’t choose a college t please some one. Your family may want you to go to a certain institution. Your friends may all be requesting your presence at this or that university. Everyone will have more than two-cents worth of advice to give you when you make this decision, but the choice is yours and yours alone. You are in control. You have the first and final say. Consider the opinions of otheors, then let go of all the advice and just follow your heart.

2. Apply to multiple universities.

You have to keep your options open. This means filling out multiple applications to different types of universities. You should have picks that you know are a sure thing. These safe bets are your fall-back plans. Apply to a few schools where you think you have a chance to be accepted, and apply to at least one or two schools that are an absolute stretch. These reaching options may surprise you. You can’t rule out the impossible when applying to college, so be sure you have enough options to account for every contingency. 

3. Explore course offerings outside your major.

You have to match up your college choices with your intended area of study. Rule out any place that doesn’t have your major, but don’t stop there. While you are in school, there are classes outside of your major that you are going to want to take. Want to take one class in video editing? Don’t choose a college based on the availability of one elective, but don’t assume that the courses in your major are all you will ever be interested in. The more you know about the entire course catalog of the college you’re considering, the easier it’ll be to compare and contrast the curriculum of different universities.    

4. Talk to people.

Ask as many questions from as many qualified people as possible. Find out what alumni and current students have to say. Consult with counselors, academic advisors and faculty members. Don’t let one person’s opinion make the decision for you. Take the opinions of others and balance them with your own observations.

5. Worst case scenario—you can always transfer!

While nothing can seem as final as your final college selection, the truth of the matter is you always have options, even once you’ve already started taking classes at your new university. If you absolutely hate life at the school you chose, you can always transfer somewhere else after two years. Make sure that you that you’ve put forth every possible effort to make it work before you decide to transfer. If after careful deliberation, you still decide that you want to bail, by all means do so. College is an opportunity, not a sentence. If your school of choice isn’t working out the way you envisioned, change your scenery.    

If you chill out, you’ll be in a better position to make an important decision. Just do your homework, keep your options open and explore. In the end, you’ll know what to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but don’t let anyone else decide your future for you.