Introduction: How to Choose the Right College

About: I am a robot. Get over it.

So what do you want to do with your life after high school anyway? That's the most common question people ask themselves at some point. Most people say they want to go to college, but it's definitely a lot easier said than done. The most important factor in choosing a college is making sure that it is the best college for you. The best feeling in the world is knowing that you couldn't have made a better decision for yourself. And that's where I'm going to help you. My goal is to give you some quick and easy tips on how to feel confident in what you are doing with life after high school.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Major (and Minor)

Arguably one of the most important things to think about once you've decided you are ready for college is what subject or field you want to major in. Majoring in something means it is what subject is going to be in big letters on your degree when you (hopefully) graduate. Also important is the field you choose to minor in, which isn't as important as the major, but is still crucial to helping you succeed in the rest of your life. When considering your options, make sure to think about what you are interested in. If you are interested in animals, for example, and really would like to know more about them, you could consider a career as a veterinarian or a zoologist. Also, it's always good to have some prior experience in the subject, so make sure you aren't choosing something that you know nothing about, even if you have to do a little research beforehand. It's also very smart to make sure that the colleges you are looking into have excellent programs that can tremendously help you in receiving you degree. If you have a college contact you, but doesn't have any program in your field, it wouldn't be the best thing for your future. So, basically, make sure to be keen in choosing your major. If you start taking classes in college, but start to lose interest, or start to drop your grades, you can always go and change your schedule to fit your needs.

Step 2: Getting Comfortable With the Environment

Another extremely important thing is making sure you are aware of your surroundings and feel comfortable walking around campus. Before you start attending the college, a good thing to do would be to just walk around the campus in order to gain confidence that you won't get lost. Even better would be if you had your schedule, so you can walk to your classes and make sure you know where all of the buildings are. Also check out some of the restaurants and other amenities close to the campus. That way when you have some down time, you will feel confident in choosing the right restaurant to go to, or the right movie theater to go to, etc. Just as long as you make sure to do some research before you start your freshman year, you will walk around the campus on the first day of school with complete ease.

Step 3: Making Sure the Education Is in Your Price Range

One of the most stressed topics discussed when getting introduced to college is the price tag. Each college is a different price, but they all have one thing in common: being crazy expensive. Start saving for college as soon as possible because not only do you have to buy the tuition, but you have to eat food, pay for a dorm, buy clothes, buy schoolbooks, buy gas for your car, have money for emergencies, etc. Being an independent person is incredibly difficult at first, so the more money you have, the less stress you will have. Nowadays, since college prices have gone through the roof, most kids are dependent on scholarship money to get them through. A scholarship is basically free money a college gives a person if they excel in specific categories such as grades, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, etc. Scholarships can be big, and they can be small depending on how well you do in high school. So if you are in high school right now, you need to push yourself everyday to get the best grades you can get, and do everything to the best of your ability, so that you have an increased chance of getting that coveted scholarship.

Step 4: Making Sure You're Ready for the Big Jump

College can be tough. It is emotionally, and also physically exhausting after a while. Studying for all those exams and tests and quizzes can be draining, so before you make the big jump from being a normal high school student dependent on your parents for money, food, etc., make sure you are emotionally ready. This is a difficult thing to do, figuring out whether you are mature enough to be self-sufficient, but it is extremely important. If you get to college, and you can't function properly because you didn't realize how much work it would be, it could potentially ruin your post-college life. In order to get mentally psyched for college, do a little research. You can visit the school website to explore all of the opportunities you will have, or you can set up an appointment with your counselor to take a tour of the campus and all of the amenities included. Going to college is a privilege, so make sure you take full advantage of the opportunity.

Step 5: Getting Involved in Something Extracurricular

Once you are pretty much settled into your college life, it is a great idea to get involved in something fun outside of class, as long as you have the time to put your best effort into it. Getting involved in something outside of class like a club, or a band, or a study group is an easy way to make friends. Most people are a lot more happy and are likely to make better grades if they are making use of their time when they aren't in class or studying for an exam.