It’s been two years since I had to decide where to go for college. In my senior year of high school, I applied to seven schools and got accepted to six of them. By late April I had narrowed the list from six to two. My biggest problem in the college selection process was to gauge which of the two schools would be the better match for me.
I didn’t have the opportunity to visit either school, so I spent a lot of time researching online. I probably went through a million college handbooks just to find the key to my answer. Academically, both schools were on the same rung. One offered me a generous scholarship (which seemed reason enough to accept). The other didn’t offer me anything but had more resources and name recognition. It also had the advantage of being situated in the biggest metropolis west of Chicago (besides Seattle). Ultimately, it came down to a clash between money and resources.
I picked Minnesota.
I do not regret my decision at all. Not once have I thought about what it may have been like to attend the other school. The U of M has opened many doors that I didn’t know even existed. This may sound like cliché college talk, but it’s very true (in my case, at least). I believe the greatest strength of the U lies in its students. With a diverse population of 25,000 undergrads, you are bound to find a group of people with similar interests as you do. And these are 25,000 bright students… getting accepted to Minnesota is not the easiest thing in the world. Along with the diverse student population, there are numerous groups and organizations to explore and join. As a college student, your extracurricular activities may be just as important to you as classes and friends.
When picking a college, there are many factors that must be considered. The best way to get through this is to think about what you want out of your college experience. Do you want to have a well-tailored academic course of study? Or maybe you are counting on having things to do outside of class. No matter how hard the process, remember that you pre-selected the schools that accepted you. You can’t go seriously wrong with whatever choice you make.