Junior and senior years in high school can be seen as stressful because of the thought of college approaching. Junior year is the time when the college search begins. Senior year is filled with college applications, college visits, and scholarships. The hard part about college is the thought of choosing just one. According to Educated Limited, America has over 5,300 colleges. That may be a very overwhelming number, but when looking at all of the options one may have, that number will drop significantly.
For this article, I interviewed Claire Fink MHS ‘19 and Victoria Nimneh MHS ‘20. Claire is a freshman at Benedictine College and Victoria is a senior this year. Victoria is still in the process of looking at colleges. Both offer different yet similar views on college searching.
When it comes to looking at colleges, it is important to look at what you want. Are you looking for a smaller school, bigger school, public, or private? Claire said she chose Benedictine because she wanted to grow in her faith and she really loved the community. She also said “I was looking for a small school. I was mainly looking at Catholic and Christian colleges. I didn’t feel like the big state schools were for me. I wanted to find a school with a decent nursing program.” Another way to look at schools is looking what programs they offer. Even though it’s totally normal to go into college undecided, it helps give you an idea of what you might be interested in.
When I interviewed Victoria, she explained how she is looking at schools that will allow her express herself and give her more opportunities. College leads students to new opportunities such as internships, service projects, Greek life, and clubs. When visiting schools, ask about what opportunities they offer and maybe you’ll want to join.
One of the biggest parts of the college search is actually visiting the schools. College visits gives you the chance to get a feel of the school and what life is like on campus. Victoria told me, “Vibe-check the college.” Victoria explained to me how you need to make sure you will enjoy your college experience through those visits. Claire said she had a weird feeling of welcoming and home. “ You have a feeling like, yeah, this is where I’m going to be for the next for years.”
One of the biggest factors of college is the expense. College can be very expensive, but according to Claire and Victoria money shouldn’t be the biggest factor. The counselors at our school provide a huge lists of scholarships for us every month. If you look online you can find scholarships on anything. I’ve found scholarships for hair color, coffee, ethnicity, and even decorating greeting cards. There is money out there, you just have to take time to look for it or even ask for it.
As a senior myself, I completely understand the frustration of choosing a college. College is the next step in your education and independence. When it comes to choosing a school, lay down all of the options and, with the help of the counselors and your parents, you’ll be able to make a decision. Victoria said, “Make a list of colleges and get rid of ones that don’t interest you anymore. All of that will help you narrow that down so much. Helps you differentiate things you want to do.”
After reading this article, I hope you feel a lot better about college and the future.