April just passed and college decisions have come in. With the positive results, students must make choices as to where they will decide to attend college. Reviewing every college to settle on one is like starting the process over, but without the application to complete. Or is it?
Reflection is the key to the process.
Place all the college names on a piece of paper individually—in a notebook or on a poster board. Take each college separately and don’t compare. Reflect on why you liked the college the first time you saw it. What stood out? The courses offered, the campus, the dorm, the activities or the entire experience?
Once you have the ideas written down for each college, then ask yourself if there is one or more that you can eliminate as it did not fit the characteristics. If so, don’t look back and let it go! You may want to write a thank you letter to the Admissions Office and let them know you are going to decline their offer.
Now you must decide between the remaining few. It is tough. That is why colleges have accepted student days and events so you can experience the campus without the chaos of wondering if you will be accepted. Go back on campus, tour again, speak to professors, meet current students and if you can do an overnight, take advantage of this option. Don’t forget to make notes on the experience.
Once you have visited the remaining colleges, ask yourself if you can make another elimination? If so, don’t look back and send a thank you note. The final decision will be the hardest as the remaining choices can be wonderful. However, dig deep inside your heart and imagine yourself on each campus once again. As you speak to anyone about your choices, notice how you, not them, react as you are telling the stories of your visit. If you add too many “but” after describing a college, then it might not be the right one. If you cannot stop talking about the experience, I believe you may have a choice!
Once you know, don’t second guess yourself. No matter where you decide to attend, you will be sure to be a success. However, if you remain undecided, don’t double deposit in hopes of obtaining more time to select. It will only linger the difficult decision-making process and is considered unethical! Search out for some help in going through your notes and selecting the right fit.
Remember, this is your journey and you want to make sure that you will find a new home in future years.
Dr. Deborah Hardy is the founder of GuidED Consulting LLC. To learn more, call Dr. Hardy at 914-721-3591.