Finding “Your” Place…

Applying to college is one of the most stressful experiences I have had to go through. Another stress-ridden experience I’ve had to go through was trying to decide where I was going to spend the next four years of my life. The pressure of picking the place where you’re going to spend “the best four years of your life” or “where you’re going to earn your degree” is overwhelming. So, I thought making a list of things seniors should know when trying to decide on which college they should attend might help.

  • You may not get accepted into your dream school. 

    • While disappointing at first, don’t let it affect your attitude of the whole college application process.

  • Explore every possible option. 

    • Look at a variety of schools with a variety of majors. Many students change their majors, so you want to make sure the school you are choosing is diverse in every aspect.

  • Look at the big picture. 

    • How much debt could you incur by attending College A instead of College B? Do you want to go to grad school? Consider finances, programs, location, size, campus safety, dorm life and food, class sizes/student-to-faculty ratio, culture, national ranking, etc.

  • Distance is more important than you think. 

    • Are you going to take a car? If not, how are you planning on visiting home? How often do you want to visit home? Illinois is only two hours from my home, so it is far enough for me to feel independent but close enough for my parents to bring me snacks and other necessities if I run out, or even just if I want to go home for a weekend.

  • Make your own decision and be confident in the choice you make. 

    • This is the first “real” decision you get to make. So, follow your heart. While it’s important to listen to your parents’ advice, it’s also important to do what makes you happy. Also, many people commit to a college the same day they get accepted (which is what I did), which may make you feel pressured to make a quick decision. Don’t worry! You have until May 1, and it’s perfectly okay if you need to take until that day to decide where you want to go. You’re going to be happy you took your time to make a decision that was best for you.



Class of 2022
The first time I visited Illinois, I knew that it was the school for me! I am on the pre-med track, majoring in Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.