I spend a great deal of time with students who are approaching college age, helping them to make a decision about which college is best for them. In the past I have written many pieces on how students can choose which college they will go to but today I want to touch on a slightly different point. I see so many students who are simply using bad thought processes to choose their university and I wanted to give you a heads up on the things that should most definitely not influence your decision as to which college you will go to.
Separating from your friends as you all reach college age can be tough, but this is absolutely not a reason for you to go to the same college as them, just so that you guys can stay together. Firstly, university is a great life experience that can teach you independence and if you head to the same place as your friends, you won’t be able to spread your wings in the way that you’d like. You should choose a college that is best for you, not for your friends, if it happens that your friends are going too then great, but don’t let it be a major factor in your decision.
Mum and Dad
Your mum and dad should most definitely have their say on which college you should go to but they should absolutely not make the decision for you. To give you an example, I went to the Alabama A&M University when it was my time to go to college and I did so against my parent’s wishes. My folks both felt that it was too far away from our home in Michigan but I knew that this was the university for me because of their athletics and agricultural specialisations, two areas that I was massively interested in. Parent’s opinions are of course, vitally important but they should not make the final decision on where you go.
Walking out of university with sky high debts is not a very nice feeling but in truth, it is often unavoidable. With this being said however, the key is to get the very best education that your skills will allow you to and I would only think about the price of your course as an afterthought. It may sound strange but there is not much difference in walking out with $70k of debt or $100k, either way you’re going to be in deep. Very often however, especially with colleges in the USA, you really do get what you pay for and if you want the best education, you’ll have to stump up for it. Equally, getting the best education leads to a better job which means higher salaries and getting your debts paid down much faster.
Take your time with your decision, it is one which you’ll have to live with for the next 4 years.