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Semaj M.

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How do I know if I've chosen the right school?

I'm asking because I ask my self that question regularly and I can never seem to answer it. #texastokansas #college-selection #college

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Hi Semaj, That's a really great question (and one that a lot of students often ask). It can really only be answered by you, however, since it is a very personal decision. When students came to me withthis question, I would try to understand what was going on in their lives at school that was making them question their decision. And that usually helped us get at an answer. College is an experience. It has many dimensions -- social, academic, emotional, etc. In talking to previous students about this, it might help if you can identify specific situations or instances that have made you question the school you are at. Here are a few questions (this is not an exhaustive list), for you to consider: Question: Are you questioning your decision because you don't like your major? Potential Answer: That's OK. Many students don't like the major they declared before they came to college and even change their majors while they are at school. Perhaps you want to talk to a career or academic counselor, get their advice, and maybe even consider changing majors. Question: Are you questioning your decision because you feel you are not getting the kind of academic feedback / attention you think you need. Potential Answer: Again, it's OK to question this. We all learn differently, respond differently to certain types of learning situations (big classes vs. smaller seminars), and have come to expect certain types of feedback from our previous teachers. I know that I thrive on feedback. And when I was not getting it in a few large classes I took my first year, it was disorienting. I think asking your professors or someone in academic counseling might help you identify what is their approach to learning. Often it varies from professor to professor and from department to department. But trying to understand what you need academically to succeed will help you thrive and get what you need now and in the future. (I still like feedback and have sought environments throughout my career where it was both expected to be given and appreciated.) Question: Are you questioning your decision because you are not happy socially at the school. Potential Answer: Also, to be expected and completely OK. College is an adjustment and it can be tough sometimes to get used to living in a new environment, a new city / town / country, with new people, and maybe away from your family for the first time. Again, I would recommend you talk to someone. You are not alone. Your school can provide you with the resources to talk to skilled professionals who can help guide you and help you feel more comfortable. I think if you try to consider these questions and what causes you to question your decision, you might arrive at a solution. Ultimately staying where you are or choosing to move to another school are both OK and happen to a lot of students. I hope this helps and feel free to write again. Best, Nanette
Last updated Oct 20 '17 at 16:51
Hi Semaj, I agree with Nanette's response; her questions and potential answers are completely right. I do not think there is any definitive way to know for sure if you have chosen the right school; it really is subjective and all about how you feel. With that being said, identifying what aspect of your college experience (i.e. social, campus culture, academics, emotional, etc.) is making you question your decision will help you search for potential alternative schools (i.e.. one that is bigger/smaller, has less greek life, has a different set of majors, etc.) During my first year of undergrad, I asked the same question, as I was not sure if I fit into my school's social scene. For me, as I went into my second year, I started really enjoying my classes, interacted more with professors, met more people via clubs, and solidified my plans to study abroad. All those changes made a big difference and made me more confident in my choice. Something else that is worth adding is that while choosing a school which suits you is a great goal, college is really what you make of it. If you are open to new experiences (i.e. joining a new club, trying a challenging/interesting class outside your major, studying abroad, doing research, volunteering, becoming a tour guide, etc.), it should go a long way with helping you feel fulfilled with you your college experience. Hope this helps!
Last updated Nov 10 '17 at 13:47

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Collegeboard.org is a great resource for this! I poured through the pages of universities all over the U.S. when I was a senior in high school. Collegeboard was my go-to site! They put all of the information in one place and it is very easy to use. They even have various filters you can apply to see only colleges that have programs you are interested. To determine academic rigor, look at the admissions requirements, G.P.A. of past admitted applicants, SAT/ACT scores, class rank etc. This will give you an idea of what scores and grades you need to be accepted. However, don't be discouraged your application will be reviewed based on the full picture! College-board will help you get an idea of what is most important to the specific school you are applying to.</span>


This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Chat with your Guidance Counselor</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Create a Collegeboard.org account</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Start using CollegeBoard as a resource to look up schools.</span>


Last updated Apr 04 at 13:50

Hi Semaj! Have you already started school or do you start this fall? If you haven't started yet, I definitely recommend visiting the college if you have not done so yet. Colleges often have events that help you get to know the school. There are resources within CareerVillage that helps you connect with people from that school. If there are others from that school on CareerVillage or if you know someone who goes there, ask them questions as well as this will help you get real 'Day in the Life' kinds of responses.


If you have already started at that school (or advice for when you get there), know that it can take some time to find where fit in. Finding friends, places you like to go, things you like to do can all take time. Something that helped me was joining an activity that I really enjoy: intramural softball. What do you enjoy and where can you find others that enjoy that same activity? When you find that, often it will help you feel more comfortable about your choice.


Good luck with your new adventure!

Last updated Jul 23 at 10:12
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