5 Useful Tips for Picking the Right College

Okunyi a 16-year-old from Seattle, WA. She enjoys to read, write, knit, and play soccer. Her favorite subject is chemistry because she wants to be a pharmacist.

When a person first begins high school they feel like it will last for a long time. It’s as if time slows down with every great day. There is time spent with friends, cramming for tests, and school dances, it all seems quite endless. Then when you least expect it reality sinks in-college isn’t far away anymore, it’s right in front of you. Picking a college can be difficult but, it’s also an exciting time. Teens who think that they’ll deal with it down the road find themselves in stress. It’s always a good idea to begin your search early and it also saves time. Here are five useful ways when trying to pick the college for you.

1. Start soon- This is the most important because while you grow as a student and a person in high school, it’s smart to keep track of what you are doing well in or enjoy. When you begin your college search soon, you can look for places that you think will fit you and as you get older you can see how you’ve changed and what you are more focused on now. So when you get down to crunch time, you have an idea of the type of schools you like and, some that you don’t really think work for you.

2. Join scholarship/related college search sites- Joining sites that help with college searches is something that is very beneficial. These types of sites will have information on many schools and get you better acquainted with them. Some great scholarship sites are Zinch.com and Fastweb.com. For sites that have a lot of information on colleges, check out theU.com and Collegeboard.com. They have quizzes you can take that will show you where you should go and what you should do as a career based on your answers.

3. Plan your major- If you have a good idea in what you what to major in, you should look at school that have that subject as one of the top majors. If you don’t really know what you want to major in then you can look at schools that have many majors to choose from.

4. School Size – The size of the school is important because people have different learning preferences. Bigger schools can be great for people who like to have a lot to choose fromsuch as majors or activities. If you don’t like to be limited in what you want, and don’t yet know exactly what you want, a big school has a lot to offer you. But if you like to have a smaller learning environment then a school with less population is probably what you should search for.

5. Talk to your counselor- When making a decision as hard as picking where you want to go to pursue your higher education, it’s always nice to have another opinion. Talk to your school counselor because they’ll help you find schools that fit what you’d look for. They can help you find places that are right for you based on how far you are willing to travel, and your grades, and other preferences. Apply to where you think is a good match for you and don’t just skip schools you think you may not get into. Rejection isn’t easy but, it’s good to have many options and then choose from there.

As I’m entering my junior year in high school, I understand the stress that comes with college searching. But these tips will help make it go smoother and leave you calmer. Although picking a college is a big deal, no matter where you choose to go, if you focus on what’s important to you, you’re going to have a great time. Good luck and happy searching.

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