Choosing a College

Marissa Nelson, Senior, Architecture, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Lacrosse

College is one of the most important decisions that high school seniors make, as you are going to take the next step of your academic and professional journey. Starting early is key, as it gives you plenty of time to make an informed decision. For myself, beginning the search in my junior year of high school was well worth it, as it helped me to narrow my search and use my senior year to complete everything needed to apply.

It’s important to give yourself options when looking at colleges. Options should range from safety schools to reach schools. Push yourself and aim for create a list. I started by creating a list of qualities I looked for in a college. My list included qualities such as having a graduate program in architecture in addition to undergraduate, study abroad options, and a variety of clubs that catered to my interests. Likewise, it’s important to give yourself options when it comes to major, especially if you are unsure what you will major in. For example, I was sure that I was interested in math and design, thus I was able to narrow my search towards schools that had these options, and that were more specialized.

Visiting schools is important in choosing a college because being in the space will give you the feeling of how life will be there. As I did, you should always visit at least once during the school year when there are students roaming. Visit options such as Fall Open House, campus tours, information sessions and preview days are all types of visit options to consider. This will give more of a life to the campus and be a more realistic feel. Visiting in the summer often provides a false sense of the campus as some do not have summer semesters, and there is no one on campus to talk to.

Some last thoughts to consider are weather such as, how you can commute back home, and surroundings! Often times you will be living at this new school, so you want to make sure you like the environment!

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