How I Chose My University & Why You Shouldn't Sweat the Decision

December 06, 2018


It's nearly January, which means it's time to for all you graduates to decide on which college to go to! This is such a fun time as you really explore your top colleges and get all your acceptances because you're all smart, beautiful people.

Personally, I believe people make the decision much more complicated than it needs to be. There are so many options available at every college and it really comes down to how hard you try to put yourself out there and make the most of the school. Even if you truly feel that you don't belong at the school you choose to attend, you always have the option to transfer! The process can be tricky, but it's worth it to be where you will flourish.

My experience with choosing my school was a little odd and I really had no idea where I wanted to go, but I am so confident in my choice now and I feel that I had always known my college was where I wanted to be.

I applied to four schools (which I recommend applying to at least four) and I was accepted to each of them, so I had some options to explore (which is the reason why I recommend applying to a few). My goal had been to go to the University of Florida all through my childhood, but when I started high school I changed my mind and wanted to go to the University of Central Florida for reasons I now can't remember.

I spent so much time going to walk around UCF, researching the school, picking out my classes and dorm before even accepting my enrollment, and really whole-heartedly invested myself in the school. My parents even got me a UCF shirt for Christmas. But a few weeks later I decided to tour UF since I had never seen the campus in the day time and I instantly fell in love with it.

My perception of college had always been a big campus with brick buildings and just something old and classic, which is the exact opposite of the very modern UCF. So when I walked around the school, I instantly felt at home and just so comfortable being on campus. The school also has an amazing journalism department and had a high rate of graduates getting good jobs.

So here I am, at the University of Florida.

Why You Shouldn't Sweat the Decision

As I said earlier, you can always transfer. But before you even get to that point, it's important to trust your gut. There will always be one school you are more drawn to than the others for some reason or another, and if that school is still on your mind after properly weighing all your options, that is most likely the best choice for you.

You know yourself, you know what makes you feel comfortable. Maybe you prefer a smaller school with small classes or a huge campus with big lecture halls; a school with a big football team or a stellar art program -- there is a school that fits you perfectly somewhere.

What Really Needs to be Considered

It may not seem like a big deal, but aesthetic was a big part in choosing my school because I wanted somewhere where I was inspired and where I felt comfortable. I just would not have done well in a school that looked more like a business district, but maybe you would. Comfort is, in my opinion, the biggest thing to consider when choosing a college. If you feel off, uninspired, or uncomfortable the moment you step into the school, it's not where you should be.

Academics is also an important part in choosing your school, obviously, so research the university's program for the major you would choose. If there isn't much there for you, you might not be as prepared for your field as you would be if you attend a different school.

The next factor is a little pretentious, but prestige plays a part in some careers. You can be more likely to get a job if someone in the office or if the boss went to your school. There are so many UF Gators in journalism that I know an alum in most magazines I want to work in. It's not a guarantee, but it can be a stepping stone.

The last thing to consider is probably the last thing your parents are thinking about, and that is where you would have the most fun. College is severely stressful and there must be some way to let loose after you spent the entire night in the library. Everyone's version of fun is different, but for me, I saw that UF had a cute downtown that always had events and concerts, good nightlife, a couple museums, a big mall, and a lake with all kinds of free activities. That really hit all the bases for me. So when you're looking at your schools, don't forget to investigate what there is to do around the school because sometimes you really just need to leave campus.

Stop Stressing!

I am a firm believer in what is supposed to be will be, so let everything take its course and trust yourself and those around you to know what is best for you.

If there are any other college-related topics you want me to cover, please let me know down below or on my social media which is all linked to the right >

Thanks for reading,

Taylor

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