A Guide to College Decisions for the Confused

Unlike many of my high school friends, I never had a “top choice” school. I knew I was interested in pursuing a career in business, but I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to major in. I’ll be the first to admit that when it came time to choosing which schools I wanted to apply to, I didn’t have the most methodical approach. I kept the suggestions of my parents and college counselor in mind, but for the most part, I was lost.

The idea of Illinois was exciting because it represented the unknown. I could leave my safe bubble of California, venture off to the Midwest, and make the most of four years in a college town. That’s what eventually happened—with many more unanticipated ups and downs, of course.

I came to Illinois unsure if it was the school for me, but that didn’t end up mattering much. So many people are fixated on whether or not a school is the perfect “fit.” I think the more important question to ask is if you can make it a place for yourself. Where do you see yourself growing the most? Where do you think you’ll have the best support system as you pursue your goals? Because no matter where you end up, you’ll have to start from scratch.

To this day, I can’t say Illinois is the absolute only school out there for me, but I do know I’ve done a lot of growing up over my three years as an Illini and I’m really proud of my time here.

I didn’t have much clarity when I was making my own college decision, but hopefully this post reaches some of you fellow lost souls. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has a “top choice,” and that’s okay. Go with your gut, and give it your best shot.

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