No Regrets: Choosing a College

Friday, August 14, 2015

Time is winding down and students are making decisions about colleges. You hope that you are making the right decision, but you never know. I will share my personal experience as well as tips on helping you make the right decision.

For my undergrad I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted to go but I had a good GPA above a 4.0 and I knew I wanted to pursue Biology. This is the first step.

1.     Choose a major that you are interested, even if you are not 100% sure

For your starting years you often take courses that you can also use if you decide to change your major. Choose a major you are interested in and pick a long term career goal and investigate the paths you can take to get there, this will also help you decide. Make sure the schools you apply to have the major you want to pursue and other opportunities you would be interested in (clubs, sports).

I am from SC and I also knew that I wanted to be outside of the state. I love my home state and I am from Columbia, which has an excellent schools, but I wanted the opportunity to be apart of something completely new. The majority of my friends when to college in SC and while I missed them I got to learn so much about myself while being only a short drive from the support of my family and friends if I needed it. I did applied to SC schools because it’s always good to have options and relief that you are going somewhere.

2.     Pick a location (broad)/exclude a location
3.     Make the decision for yourself, not based on what others are doing
4.     Apply broadly, be flexible

I applied to and was accepted at several different schools, some with scholarship money. After spending a summer at Spelman College for a summer program I was in love. I hadn’t really thought of going to a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), but I got accepted into the Honors program and I had gotten assigned a roommate and everything. I was ready!  The other HBCU I’d applied to was NC Agricultural & Technical State University, which I’d applied to because my sister attended that university and my parents wanted me to. I ended up being accepted there with a full scholarship and I didn’t look back. You may not think about it now, but being debt free is a huge deal!

5.     Follow the money
6.     Visit the campus if possible

Follow the money, but do not do it at the expense of being happy. I visited the campus and I felt like I would be happy there. You can get a general sense during the visit, talk to students and observe. While college is only 4 years of your life, it molds you and being unhappy will not allow you to perform at the best of your ability.

7.     GO!

With that said I have never regretted my decision. Target has the cutest supplies that you can purchase using the banners on my page or create a college registry for your room of office space. Another point to mention is that college is not for everyone. Some people go on to own businesses, become successful in a trade or work their way up another way. College is not the only path to success. Other options are to start at a community college and continue at a 4 year institution later. No matter the path you choose hard work will get you to your goals; those 4 years will fly by and you will be walking across that stage! (btw you can't see it clearly but that is Michelle Obama. The first lady was my commencement speaker!)



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