College is a special time in a young person's life. They are given the opportunity to experience higher learning, take their intellectual abilities to a higher level, and hopefully get some hands-on experience in their chosen field. At the same time, deciding where to go to college can be confusing and stressful. It's a tough decision to make. Today, we are going to discuss seven wrong reasons to choose a college.
Going to College to be with Your Significant Other
Sometimes people apply to and even attend a college simply because their significant other is going there. This, in most cases, is a huge mistake. Which college you attend is a very personal decision, and to make this choice because of another person's wants and needs just isn't practical. In most cases, the couple usually breaks up at some point during college, leaving at least one of the two alone in a school that may not be right for them.
How Pretty the Campus is
There are many schools out there that pour unspeakable amounts of money into making their campuses as attractive as possible. It might be nice to look at, but that doesn't mean you'll get a great education there. In fact, some schools pour so much money into their appearance that their funding for certain programs comes up short. That is not necessarily a place you want to go. When visiting, try to pay more attention to the academic trends than the condition of the campus, although it should at least look decent.
The School is Prestigious (and Expensive)
Just because a school is prestigious and expensive does not mean it is good by default. Many people think prestige means good education, but good education is really more about fit for the individual student. You're better off being happy at a state school than unhappy at an ivy league school, especially as an undergraduate. It also depends greatly on what subject you're interested in studying and how well you click with the other students and faculty members. Sometimes, if most of the student body is from a wildly different background than yours, you may feel out of place.
The School is Cheap
Just like you wouldn't want to go to a college that is overly-expensive, you don't want to attend a place just because it's easy on the pocketbook. While it's understandable, it shouldn't be your ultimate deciding factor. Say you got into two schools: one cost $20,000 a year and was excellent and the other cost $10,000 a year and was not so great (assuming you could afford both). Before immediately signing up for the cheaper school, take the necessary time to judge whether the classes, programs, and other features of the school will give you the same advantages and benefits of the more expensive school.
Your Parents Went to the College
There's nothing wrong with following in the footsteps of your parents, but when it comes to a higher education, you may want to reconsider. If you are planning on working in your family's business or pursuing the same career as your parents, this may work. But simply doing the same thing they did might not actually be what's right for you. Even if you have a family bond with someone, you are still a different person with different needs. Spend some time thinking about what you want before making your decision.
It's the Only School You Got Into
It makes sense to want to go to a school if it is the only one that accepted you, but before you take that leap of faith, take a step back. Is this really the school for you? How much do you actually want to go there? Before deciding, you might consider going to community college for a couple of years and transferring into a four-year college. You will be more mature and may be able to get into more schools after two years have passed. You will also save a decent amount of money, given today's ridiculous college costs.
You Think a Certain School Will Guarantee you a Certain Job
Yes, you have to pick a school and a major that are relevant to what kind of job you want in the future. But at the end of the day, your hard work, study, and persistence are what's going to get you the job you want. Most schools won't even prepare you that well for a real job, so it's not reasonable to expect a college to land you a job, either. No school is a ticket to success.
Ultimately, where you go to college is a very personal decision. Try to keep your own needs in mind and make the most informed choice you can. Good luck in your search!
Image credit: Hebron Private High School