Life is full of choices. We choose what to wear every day. We choose what to eat every day. We also choose things like how to spend our free time. We make these choices every day, but there are also choices that we only make once, like where to go for college. For many, this is a very tough decision, and it’s a decision that prospective students are making all over the country right now because decision-day, May 1, is next Tuesday. You have to consider so many things: What will school be like? What will the people be like? What will it be like to live there? What organizations will be there? The questions are seemingly endless, and many of the answers are not found until after the decision is made. I can’t give you a formula for making this extremely difficult decision, but I can tell you how I chose.
I’m a native of Kalamazoo, so I had always heard of K and the great things associated with the school. My older brother was considering Kalamazoo in his college search, so I learned a lot about the school from him even though he decided to go elsewhere. After doing some research about the school, I decided it sounded like a good fit for me, and I added it to the list of potential schools.
Finding a school that is a good match is exciting, but can also be a pain when there are tons of schools that are on the list. Most students applying to Kalamazoo do very well in high school and on standardized tests; therefore, they have tons of opportunities at a multitude of schools. The list of potential colleges becomes quite long.
When the time to make a decision rolls around, things can be difficult because there are so many options to choose from. For me, I had to go through the list and scratch off a few schools that were not as well suited to me as the others. Usually it’s pretty easy to knock out the first few schools, but then things slow down and become more difficult.
For me, the decision process became the most confusing and difficult when there were only a few schools left. All the schools seemed like great fits, and I wanted to go to all of them. Visiting each school was a great way to learn more about them, and that really helped at this level of the decision process. I visited my top three schools and then thought about each for a couple weeks. As I pictured myself at each school, some drew away from the pack. All of the schools had advantages and disadvantages, but I had to choose one. Ultimately, I went with my instinct, which was Kalamazoo. Putting all the statistics aside, Kalamazoo just felt right to me. I chose Kalamazoo, and I have not regretted it one time since then.
Choosing a college is very difficult for most students. The decision can’t be made by anyone else, and it’s often very difficult to get all the information you want to make the decision easier. There is no formula for how to decide. My advice would be to write a list of advantages, disadvantages, and anything else that could influence your decision. Then cross off a few to narrow it down. Try to get a top three or top five. After that, I would suggest visiting the schools or at least getting in touch with someone from the school to have a conversation about the school. At this point, you’ve probably done that already. Let everything sink in for a while and cross off the colleges that no longer seem right to you. When it finally comes down to the time when the decision has to be made, go with what feels right to you. This is what I did, and it worked well for me, but everybody is different, and there are no guarantees that it is the best way to do it. It’s just what I would recommend. Good luck!