If you mapped out the brain of a Junior in relation to thinking topics, “college” surely would not be a prominent one. I mean sure, maybe you’re a little interested in the university a few towns over or you’d love to attend one of the more prestigious colleges in the nation, but for the most part, if you’re a Junior you’re probably more worried about what’s for lunch tomorrow than what school you’ll be going to in two years.
But here’s the thing—even if college itself seems far off in the distant future, the application deadlines for most colleges are less than a year away. So how do you know if a college will be right for you? Even if you’ve already picked a school and have everything planned out, there’s still the question as to whether or not that college is the right one.
What follows is NOT a guide to choosing a college, but rather a list of mistakes to avoid when making your prospective selections. Hopefully after viewing these pitfalls in the selection process you’ll begin to narrow down your college search to the perfect one.
- Not bothering with employment rates.
Jobs? Rubbish. If you think about it, the ideal college prepares FEWER graduates for employment. ‘Cause what does less learning mean? More parties!
Reality Check: College is partly about enjoyment, but it’s also about the quality of education being provided to you. Look at how many people end up getting a job after earning a degree to get a good idea of how prepared you’ll be after receiving your education.
- Staying near home at all costs!
Even if a few relatives live near an out-of-state college you’re interested in, don’t take the risk in going there. Why go out of your comfort zone anyway? Who knows, something bad could happen, like… aliens… attacking… or something.
Reality Check: Whether the college you’re looking at is close to home or far away, try to make sure you have a support system in that general location. In case the unexpected happens, you don’t necessarily want the closest trustworthy person to be a thousand miles away.
- Going wherever your high school sweetheart is going!
If your partner wants you to go to their college, it doesn’t matter if it’s somewhere you’d want to get an education from in the first place. Just make sure you can be together <3
Reality Check: Love is a wonderful thing, but you don’t want to let it lead you in the wrong direction. Much of your future life will be based on your education, so make sure your first priority in college selection is YOU, not your boo.
- Greek Life?… Bah! Humbug!
Fraternities and sororities are some of the most irrelevant groups when it comes to your college experience, so don’t waste your time looking into them.
Reality Check: While many students do not participate in Greek Life in college, each college’s organizations typically play an important role in everyday college life, and they may be a significant determining factor when deciding whether or not to attend.
- Making sure the college serves terrible food.
Who wants to get out of class at 11:00 and be able to walk to the cafeteria to enjoy a decent meal in time for their class at 11:45, when you can just drive to a restaurant, pay twice the money, and be half an hour late to your Biochem Lab?
Reality Check: You’ll want your college to have at least half-decent food; if they don’t talk about it on their website, and they won’t give a straight answer when you ask them, it’s probably a sign that it’s not the best.
Getting the idea? Over the next few months when you start receiving letters and emails from universities, go over these clues if you’re having trouble deciding whether the school is right for you. If you’re not sure about any of them, just ask! Their admissions counselors will usually be able to help.
Have any more facetious advice to give? Leave it in the comments below.