Semaj M.





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

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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

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