By: Justin Voss

It’s been fun walking around campus this week after Spring Break to talk with our seniors and see if they have decided where they have chosen to attend after graduating from Fairmont. Everyone has such great options, and while for some the choice is easy, for others they are going to use every last moment until they have to decide on May 1. More power to them! This is the chance that the students have to be in driver’s seat as the colleges are now imploring them to enroll at their institution. Now that the mystery of whether or not a school will admit them has passed it is time to choose. With the choice of where to spend the next four years, what are some of the things a student can think about to make the best decision? Let’s make a list!

  1. Do what is best for you, the student. I cannot stress this one enough. The student is the one going to college, not mom or dad or anyone else. There are so many factors into what makes a good fit but only the student can make that decision through their eyes.
  2. Look at the combination of academic programs, social life, and location. This is a unique balance for each school and each student.
  3. Does it offer your potential major(s)? Remember, most students come into college undeclared and even then a great majority change their major at least once. Make sure the school offers you a variety of subjects you are interested in.
  4. Really look at those majors. Check out the courses, the requirements, and the advising. Is it more theory based or experience based? Does it offer the focuses you really want?
  5. Think about location in every sense. Does an extra 30 minutes on a plane really matter? How often are you going to be coming home? What does the nearby town/city offer and is that the experience you are envisioning?
  6. Follow my unofficial rule. 2/3 of the experience should be comfortable and 1/3 should challenge you to think in new ways.
  7. Choose a place where you feel safe.
  8. Make sure you look at the resources for advising, social-emotional counseling, career guidance, and anything else that is important to you.

Remember that no one cares what your high school GPA was or how you did on the SAT. None of that matters now. Try to choose a school based on fit rather than the “name” as you are there to be educated and build a resume for your career, not just wear a sweatshirt of a school a lot of people know.

Remember that your counselors are here to help you, but we won’t make a decision for you.