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Sunday, April 7, 2013
Picking the Right College. For Real.
So you've spent the better part of the last decade fantasizing about your dream college. Maybe it's your folks' alma mater. Maybe it's just one of those institutions that invites the kind of dreamy lore we like to hitch our goals on. Maybe you're a bit more ambivalent; just ready to spread your wings and move onto the next chapter.
By now, the acceptance letters have come. So have the rejections. Fantasy and reality are finally in a face-off. The choices you have to make now are real ones. Whether you're settling for a back-up plan or lucky enough to be weighing your top picks, you've got to make a decision. Which school is it gonna be?
It's time to take your relationship with your maybe-college to a new level. Think about what attracted you to it in the first place. Did you visit the campus? Sit in on some classes? Spend a night in the dorms? If you didn't, you should. If you did, you might need to go bad. Or dig a little deeper.
Try not to listen to casual hearsay. Be careful when taking aboard grand dismissals or endorsements of a school. Some alumni can be a little lovesick when it comes to their alma maters. Ever heard a statement that starts something like "you'll never find a job with that school on your resume". Hyperbolic statements generally aren't true.
It's hard to turn off all the outside noise. And I'm not suggesting you should shut down all constructive input. Instead, do what you need to do to figure out what's really going to fit for you. Check out sites like collegeprowler.com, where you can join discussion boards with other existing students.
Go visit on your own. See if you can spend a night, or more. Search out your gut feelings on the atmosphere. If you're the data-driven type, check out sites like collegeboard.com for vital stats.
No decision is permanent, but this is an important one. Chose right, and you're setting the tone for your future.
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