As fall turns into winter, the college planning process becomes more and more relevant for both juniors and seniors alike, and increasingly important.
Searching for the “perfect” college can be extremely stressful and time consuming. That’s why this article will hopefully supply some good reasons and advice on why and how to start this tedious journey.
First, starting the college search is an important step for every student- the earlier, the better. Procrastination is harmful to your experience, and last minute frantic searching may result in uninformed or hasty decisions. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, you have to start at some point. Why not now?
Before you simply search the word “college”, make sure you are prepared for the infinite results. You may want to grab a cozy blanket and a box of tissues to cry into, but don’t worry! After the initial shock of hopelessness and impossibility sets in, you can happily exclaim “It will all be uphill from here!”
Thirdly, what do you want to study? A common stress for many students is their indecision and confusion when looking to the future, and that’s okay. Don’t give up! Most students are accepted into college with an undeclared major, giving them more time to discover their passions and interests. Take time to think about what your interests are, and don’t be discouraged if you haven’t narrowed your choices yet. Some colleges do not make students pick a major until the end of their sophomore year. However, it must be noted that certain colleges have programs that require four years of rigorous studying in a particular area, such as Pre-Medicine or Pre-Law programs, which must be decided at the time of application.
Next, exploring colleges can be very stressful, but also very rewarding. Despite the seemingly endless options and possibilities, the occasional breakthrough is encouraging. When you get ready to search for colleges, set a timer for an hour, or tell yourself that you will only look at one college at a time- don’t overwhelm yourself. Try to get a good feel for colleges on their websites or databases so that you can narrow the list of colleges you plan to visit in the future, but don’t spend mindless hours looking at statistics. Bake some cookies for a reward after you finish- whatever motivates you.
College is an important step for juniors and seniors to be considering, and even sophomores and freshmen must understand the impact of their grades and extracurricular activities. Make sure to take the time to put enough thought and effort into the decision. Try not to procrastinate or spend too much time at once searching through colleges. The act of starting your research is crucial, so make sure you start soon. Good luck!