For many of you, senior year is flying by as April nears its end. I am sure you all know what that means: the May 1st deadline for committing to your college gets closer and closer, while your decision may not be getting any easier. This is why I am writing this post. I would like to give some tips and share my experience with this process, to help you as you decide which college to attend.
The first thing you should do is to try to visit all the colleges you are considering. Not visiting would be like buying a car without driving it first. Go on college tours, stay with an overnight host, and attend the admitted student events. These are great ways for you to see if you fit in well with the student body and your future classmates. When I was a senior, attending Owl Days and interacting with current and other prospective Rice students helped me see myself as a Rice student, which ultimately led me to choose Rice with confidence. Also, actually visiting a campus is so much more than just looking at pictures or doing a virtual tour. Visiting is the only way you can get a feel for the environment and the surrounding area. Before I chose Rice, I was also considering the University of Southern California. Before I visited USC, I looked at pictures and saw how beautiful the campus was; however, when I actually visited, I found out that Los Angeles did not really fit my taste.
After you have visited, you should weigh the pros and cons of each college you are considering. Are you looking for a big or small school? Do you want to live in a city or a rural environment? Is money a factor? I was looking for a relatively small school (but not too small) with small class sizes and a close-knit community, so Rice was a great choice for me.
Deciding which college to go to can truly be challenging. If you think about it, where you spend four years of your life and who your future lifelong friends will be are all dependent on this one decision. At the end of the day, going with your gut feeling will lead you to the right choice. It did for me.