May 1st – National College Decision Day

For many high school seniors, May 1st is a big decision day. They must finalize their decision on which college to attend! This is a very exciting time as this is a huge step that plans out your next 2 – 4 years (but of course things can change in the future). There are many factors that go into deciding on a college: location, majors, finance, etc. Personally, I’ve known my decision since my junior year, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

I’ve had siblings who’ve gone to this college, it’s close to home, my financial aid is great, and I am familiar with the university. Personally, the last reason was the biggest one. I’ve come to understand that I need something familiar for me to survive. For example, I would much rather go to a park that I’ve gone to many times than going to a new one. I understand that there many many limitations with this, but it is how I am. But with that, I do try to step out of my comfort zone from time to time.

I’ve been on campus many times, I know great organizations there that I want to join, I know many people who currently attend there and will attend next year, but I know that by going into this university, it will take me to new places as well. I want to study abroad and I believe college is the best time to do this. College is also a place for opportunities, especially jobs and internships. The U of M has many connections that I can take advantage of that will allow me to find a job after graduation. I also know that there are still many things I don’t know about the university that I want to explore.

Overall, it has a great balance and I truly can see myself there. Something that I had always heard while looking at colleges was finding the right fit. I didn’t understand this until I had to decide on a college.  I had applied to 8 colleges, but I could truly see myself at 2 of them and I made my decision from that. Visiting and staying on campus was a great way to see myself attending the college as well. Overnight visits are a great way to see if that college is the place for you.

Another factor was my mom’s opinion. My parents are divorced and I live with my mom and step-dad so I am much closer to my mom and she means everything to me. Not only am I familiar with the U of M, but so is my mom which makes everything else a smooth transition. I’m a momma’s girl and I know that I couldn’t go out of state although I was accepted into 2 great places. I need my support which comes from my family.

When deciding on a college, I would suggest looking at your core values and deciding based on that. I value my family out of everything in the world and I know that I couldn’t survive without them. Something else I also value is exploring, which sounds rather counterintuitive with the whole speech about familiarity above, but I understand the importance of exploring and stepping out of my comfort zone which is way I am going to live on campus and plan to study abroad. These are both major changes, but I know I will learn a lot from it.

With whatever decision you make, congratulation! You have made it through high school and may you succeed in college as well.

– I.S.

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