How to Pick a College

How to Pick a College

By Ashley Spencer

Picking which college you’ll attend is a daunting task. That's why we're here with tips that may guide you on the right path. Most of the Sparkitors and even some of the Sploggers went to college; you can you tell by the Animal House shirts we don daily to commemorate the only time in our live when eating pizza at every meal was not only accepted, but encouraged.

Imitate greatness. Research where your favorite/most inspirational role models went to college. If you aspire to be the next Diane Sawyer, check out her alma mater. Also, look at lists to see which journalism undergrad programs are consistently ranked highly. Did Charlie Sheen go to college? If so, don’t go there.

Decide if you like other people. If not, then the University of Phoenix may just be the place for you. With all classes held virtually, the only person you’ll have to see every day is the oily-skinned girl with bed head reflected in your computer monitor.

Consider in-state. Saving your parents a lot of money might be the “right” thing to do, especially if you feel your state school could satisfy your academic needs. If that’s the case, see if you can work out a deal with your parents that might benefit you after college. For example, if you go to U of STATE instead of that expensive private college in Connecticut, your parents might be able to help you move to your desired location post-grad or give you a convertible for cruising ‘round campus. Both are very important things we feel you should negotiate with your family. Get their promises in writing (preferably blood) so that your contract is legit.

Don’t let others influence you. If your boyfriend is going to your “really-extra-super-safety school” where people equate success with not pooping yourself when drunk on the weekends, we encourage you to rethink your decision. Unless of course your boyfriend happens to be really rich, or a wizard. If that’s the case, encourage him to dream bigger and pay/witchcraft his way into a better school. If your worst enemy plans to attend your top choice, go anyway. There will be plenty of other dumb people for her to hang out with, and plenty of intellectual book nerds for you to play “Let’s Make Out Because I Like the Posters You Hung" with.

Check out the common areas. Odds are that during your time at college, you will live with a roommate who is utterly crazy and will do stuff like pee on your dishes if you decide not to do them for a few days. This will make you very happy being anywhere but the room where you sleep. When scoping out potential colleges, see which universities have comfy chairs in the libraries, good food at the student union, and bright lights on the quad (so that you can have a slumber party there should your roommate “accidentally” lock you out).

Get paid. If you are smart enough to get a scholarship somewhere, you should be flattered and interested in learning more about that school. Odds are this might be the last time someone rewards you for your ability to do well on the SAT and write an essay about school spirit.

What factors are swaying you? The cafeteria food? The attractive co-eds? What matters most?

Related post: Confessions of an RA: Drama in the Dorms

Topics: college applications, decisions

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