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The Biggest Things To Consider When Deciding Where To Go To College, According To Actual Students

College is easily one of the best times of your life. It’s that magical period where you first experience independence while still enjoying the last moments before true adulthood. The parties that relieve the stress of class, the friendships that will last a lifetime, and the opportunities to get you ready for a bright future are all encompassed during this momentous four year period. College is the time when you can make mistakes and learn life lessons that aren’t taught in a classroom.

And while these are all things we universally enjoy and experience during college, deciding where exactly the backdrop of your collegiate journey will be is a personal, stressful, and, admittedly, daunting task. Where should I apply? Big school or liberal arts college? In-state or out-of-state? Should I go where my friends are going? What if I don’t get in to my first choice? Heck, What happens if I don’t get in anywhere?

The process of applying to a university is the second most stressful part of going to college. The first part is the waiting game. For college student Tabi Hoshmand, who attends San Diego State University, the pressure was on her, “not intentionally but just in the atmosphere. So glad I ended up where I did [at San Diego State University] because I would never be doing what I’m doing with the support I’m getting now.” The pressure will not always last; but that pressure helps to push us into the places we need to be to get to where we want to be. (Photo via @tabihoshmand)

A lot of schools try to sell themselves by using the number of students that attend the university but even with our schools, there is quality over quantity. Take Sarah Carrillo’s choice to attend Ithaca College for an example. “I had my heart set on Penn State until my financial aid award package came. Then I leaned on my second choice which was Ithaca. I love Ithaca for its pride; we’re small but bold. All the students within my major are such creative innovative thinkers that it rubs off on me.” We attend college to learn from our professors but some of the best skills you pick up come from the people you surround yourself with. (Photo via @stylelinguistics)

College is extremely expensive but following your dreams are totally worth it. “My dream school was any school in New York! The process of realizing Fordham was the perfect fit for me stems from me being a dancer my entire life. I was looking for schools where I could either major or minor in dance while also pursuing my other interests. Fordham, however, didn’t have a dance minor, but they had a student run club called expressions dance alliance. This club makes my college experience perfect because I am still able to dance (and perform) while also pursuing my other career interests,” says Sammy Mandich, a Communications major at Fordham University. (photo via @sammymandich)

This moment in our lives can take us anywhere we desire to be. For me personally, I took into consideration my future and where would be the best place for my career to start. The University of North Texas was the perfect fit for me because not only did it have a great Media Arts program, but the university itself is half an hour away from Dallas. Dallas is the 5th largest media outlet in the U.S., making internships and future job opportunities more realistic to obtain. The move was rough but ultimately placing myself where I knew I wanted to be in the long run was one of the best decisions I have made so far. (Photo via @jaidabrinkley_)

So when making your decision on where to go to school, don’t get bogged down by the magnitude of the decision. Remember the choice of where you go to school should really come down to two people: the person you are now and the one you want to be in the future.

What things are you considering when making your choice? How did you decide on where you went to college? Let us know in the comments below!