Karina is back again with her second blog post of the semester. She is going to talk about things to consider when choosing the right college.
Hi everyone! How do you know you have chosen the right place to educate yourself? This is a question that I asked myself at the very beginning of my college search before I decided to study at Colby-Sawyer College, a small, private, liberal arts college nested in the beautiful small town of New London, NH.
I do not believe there is a single recipe for finding happiness and content with your choice of college. It all depends on what you get involved in and how you structure your involvement on campus. However, you should think about if you prefer small or big, rural or urban, small or big classes, sorority and fraternity presence, and presence of clubs on campus.
While considering the above criteria, one has to ask where they think they would thrive the best academically and socially. For example, if you know for yourself that you would not be able to focus on your academics in a big and adventurous city, than maybe going to a rural environment is the best for you. If you prefer more professor interaction, then a small college would fit you more than a big school where the TA (Teacher Assistant) runs the class in small groups.
The best thing to do is to start looking at a college search engine, such as collegedata.com. After you pick your criteria from the numerous drop-down menus, there will be a list of colleges, which you can also limit geographically. It is important to notice that reading reviews about the school from students is also useful, but it should be taken with a grain of salt, because as we know, students like to complain about everything even if there is nothing to complain about.
Another important factor to consider is financial aid. After you have received your acceptance letters, take into consideration the cost associated with your attendance at the school. If your dream school did not award you as great of a financial award as another , consider if living off-campus from your first year, working part-time, taking out loans (which may not be the most desired option to pay for school).
Consider as well, what makes a college your dream school. Just because a school looks beautiful it does not mean that it will provide you with the connections you need post graduation. Consider if the major you are interested has established connections with local businesses or institutions post graduation. For example, the nursing program here at Colby-Sawyer College has connection with Dartmouth College, and a lot of our nursing students get hired at Dartmouth post-gradation. Other things to consider include study abroad, extra-curricular, and internship opportunities the college offers. It is very important to get involved outside of the classroom, as it helps broaden your horizons and shapes you into a more accepting, tolerant, and understanding of the world person.
What really impressed me about the college I chose was the small class size, translating to more professor help and interaction, the rural setting (helps me focus on my homework), and the beauty of the campus, which you can see from the pictures posted. We also have four seasons, which means really hot and humid summer, and a really cold and harsh winter. I love snow and warm weather, so the weather here is perfect for me. If you are not sure of your major, pick a college or university that has a wide range of majors and do your research about connections the school has and possible job connection.
Enjoy the search process and do not get frustrated! You will end up in the right school if you do your research.
Karina Belberska, Cohort 2