Starting to look for colleges is both an exciting and emotional experience. For me, I find it thrilling to see what my future could look like. At glance it might look glamorous, but in reality it can be emotional and at sometimes, draining.
A big part of looking at colleges is finding what fits best for you! Colleges want you to fit in just as much as you want to. Below are my top 5 tips for staring your college search and the things that should really matter when it comes to choosing what college to apply to.
1. Location Location Location: You probably know where this one is going just by the title, but seriously it is definitely worth mentioning. There are two things to factor in when deciding on wether or not a colleges location is right for you. First is the cost of travel, and how often you will be visiting home. If you have it set in your mind that you might only go home once a year during college than the distance might not be an issue. Though if you want to go home every few months than travel cost can add up quick. Will you be driving? Taking a train? Flying? The second thing to take into consideration, is the distance of the college from your house. For me personally, I want to go somewhere far away. I love my family and friends but I also want to be somewhere totally new! So the closet school I plan on applying to is 3 hours away. But my way may not be the best for you. If you want to stay close by and be able to travel home on weekends or when you get sick, you should consider a school the is 2 hours or closer. The distance and travel cost factor go hand in hand.
2. The Weather: Yes, this can seem to be a minor factor, but the world is your oyster so you should at least give this a quick thought when it comes to spending around $50,000 a year. You don't want to be miserable if you are stuck in a place that the weather just never makes you feel good. If you hate the snow, try looking at some schools in the south. If you like snow and warm weather check out some schools that can meet you in the middle in terms of the weather. The climate of the college by no means should be your #1 deciding factor but when choosing between to colleges similar academically, this should be given a thought.
3. The Social Atmosphere: Are you the type of person to join a sorority and enjoy socializing, or would you rather watch a movie with a few friends? Both are great options, and your social life becomes a big part of living on campus. If you dreamed of joining a sorority, make sure that the colleges that you are applying to offer that opportunity. If you are interested in joining clubs (traveling clubs, book clubs, study groups) make sure that the college can offer what you want.
4. Do You Feel Safe: Being comfortable is a big deal when picking a college. This is the first time you might be living without your parents full time. If you have never felt safe or comfortable in the city, than chances are that is not going to change when you start college. If the town that the college is connected to freaks you out, then you probably won't feel safe at night (lol). You should enjoy the area that you are in and the vibe that the college gives off.
5. Campus/Population Size: If you type into google a college name, along with the other information, the number of people attending the school with pop up. This determines if the school is big, small. or medium. Depending on the type of person you are, the size of the college can have a big impact on your experience. If you want to know everyone (or OF everyone) on your campus, a smaller college is for you. If you want to be able to meet knew people everywhere you go all for years, a big college is best for you. If you go to a big school you can go all four years without every coming across someone unless you make a point to see them. On the other hand if you attend a smaller school you are more likely to run into people you know everywhere you go; the library , cafeteria, restaurants. The preference on the size of the college varies person by person. For me personally, I want to either go to a big school or a smaller/medium sized school near or in a city.
You might find the college of your dreams and still not everything will be checked off your wish list. There is no PERFECT college. But there is for sure better options that might fit your list more than others. Hope that you find your dream college!
Thanks for stopping by Blonde in Pink! This is a spot for me to share everything from fashion to travel. I am currently based out of Philly but I am always visiting new places. If I had two words to describe my fashion it would be "Boho Chic". I started this blog in 2015 with inspiration to share my fashion ideas with friends and family, and soon Blonde in Pink began.