Choosing a College: The Student vs The Person

Around this time of the year many high school seniors are trying to decide who they are, what they want, who they want to become, and where they will go. As if these questions were not already overwhelming for anyone to answer, navigating college selections can be a convoluted process. Whether you are deciding on your major, clubs, food, scholarships, or accessibility - the questions that you are weighing can probably be divided into those questions that impact you as a student, and those that affect you as a person.

When I was choosing colleges I remember feeling incredibly frustrated because the adults in my life seemed more concerned with The Person, than the student. In other words, I think my going away to college and experiencing independence for the first time terrified my parents. They were concerned with making sure that I stayed within the state, they wanted me no farther than an hour's drive away from my orthopedic doctor, they wanted to be sure that the school would be able to handle me if I fractured, they even wanted to know if they could have access into my dorm room! The barrage of questions and concerns drove me nuts.
At that point in my life my fractures had begun to dwindle, and I was firmly entrenched in a stubborn-adolescent-independent mindset. The "I know everything and your opinion doesn't matter" attitude was my response to every question asked of me. But of course I didn't know everything and I mistook my parents' concern for my well being to be a source of annoyance and overbearing.

With that said, my piece of advice for any seniors in high school applying to college is to listen to what those around you are saying. The more information you have the better informed your eventual decision will be, and finally, realize that this is not supposed to be an easy decision. It is supposed to be a hassle, frustrating, and at times may make you feel like you're hitting your head against the wall over and over! But once you've gotten this first step into independence out of the way, just think about how easy it will be to take the next step and all the other ones to follow!
The process of choosing a school is an investment in yourself in the present and in the future. It will come with its difficulties and uncertainties that might not all be figured out until you are actually on campus. I'd definitely encourage visiting campuses as much as possible and meeting with as many college staff or current students as possible; go straight to the source with your questions and trust that thousands of students before you have made the same trek and done it successfully - soon, you'll be among them.

Since each person's college search is unique to their needs and each school has different resources, it's difficult to list specific advice to help with the process. I'd be more than happy to try and help answer more specific questions via email:

You can also check out this article that I wrote to learn more about my first foray in independence in college: A Protective Bubble of My Own 

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