Ok, let’s get started. First you need to begin the process by understanding a few simple things about chosing a college. NOT every college is right for everyone, that should be pretty easy to figure out, right? Wrong! You would be surprised at the number of college students who chose their college for all the WRONG reasons and end up having to transfer, often losing credits in the process.
Here is a list of some reasons why students chose a particular college. See if you see yourself in any of them, and if you do, don’t worry we’ll discuss in detail why you should or should not use any of these reasons.
- It’s where my boyfriend/girlfriend is going.
- I like the mascot.
- It’s where my parents want me to go.
- I want to join a fraternity/sorority.
- This college has a lot of girls/guys that go there.
- They have a really good football/basketball/baseball/sports team there.
- This college is a Party School!
- I’m looking for Mr. or Miss Right, I want to get married.
Now, some of those reasons might seem like good ideas, but trust me after talking to literally thousands of transfer students over the years, NOT one of them is solid. Sometimes if your parents are paying the tuition it may be prudent to go where they want you to go, but if you feel strongly enough about NOT attending a college, you should talk to your parents and then if they won’t budge, I’ll give you a few hints on that one a little later.
Some of the reasons why you should NOT use the above list are pretty obvious, but let’s look at a couple that may not be. Like the one about following your significant other to college. Studies show that only around five percent of couples who are dating when the enter college actually stay together for the four years they are in college. This can cause a LOT of issues, particularly if you both attend a small college. Don’t get me wrong, if you both are selecting a college for the right reasons and just happen to be dating, this is perfectly acceptable, but if you go against your dreams just to stay close to that special one, you might want to rethink that choice.
Remember, we are going to college to get an education. This does include extra-curricular activities like social groups, athletics, dating, and all the typical “college activities” that young people like doing. You probably will want to go to Florida or Texas for spring break, you are certainly going to want to go to football games and the likes, but you MUST remember that the end game is an education that will result in a career. I can’t tell you how many students I have had to sit down in my office over the years and remind them that this is a four-year committment and while that may seem like a LONG time to an 18-year-old, it’s only a fraction of the time that you will work during your lifetime. Investing four years to get an education that can result, typically, in earnings of more than a million dollars over the course of your career, is certainly worth a little restraint. We will talk a LOT more about that in future blogs, trust me, it’s that important.
So, those are a few of the more silly pitfalls that students fall into when chosing a college. Of course there are many others and I’m sure that some of them are even more off the wall. My intent in this post was to get you thinking about why you are chosing to go to college. In our next post, we’ll talk a little about some reason that make sense. Remember, it’s a long process and one that you should be prepared to invest in.