After graduating High School everyone faces one of the most dreaded questions in their lives. How to get into college? Which one to apply to? Which occupation to choose? These decisions surely are not the easiest ones, and on top of that – they are quite crucial for the future of every teen. The profession we choose dictates not only the sphere and salary a person will be getting but also a lifestyle, schedule, social environment, even the place of living. So naturally, it is important to get it right and decide what do you want to do ahead of time and deadlines. The next step would be getting into your dream college. In this article, we will try to breakdown some rules and advice on how to make this process easier and organize everything without feeling overwhelmed. Stay tuned for some practical tips and tricks and secret hacks.
1. First step
Think hard about what you enjoy doing. Take into account what you are actually good at, think about 10-15 years from now and what you want to do then. But do not stop with just thinking – write it down. You can first note all the skills that you have that stand out; then write all professions that interest you. Try to compare these lists and see where they overlap.
Secret tip: If you struggle with pinpointing what you want to do for a living – there are numerous websites with psychological tests that can help you do that. Do not hesitate to surf the web for some of them, it could be of great help in getting closer to your college of dreams.
2. Second step
Choose the location and do it wisely. This is a big decision to make that will impact your upcoming years greatly. Do you want to take a leap and move somewhere, possibly abroad to study? Or you rather prefer staying closer to home avoiding extra costs for rent? Think about it, as living on campus is a unique experience, but definitely not for everyone. If you strive for independence and “full college experience” – go for education that is far from home. But if you feel that you are not ready yet for a change of city or even country – do not risk it.
3. Third step
Evaluate your budget. This is, obviously, one of the essential points of choosing a college. Take a good long look at your possibilities and be real. If you are not too sure – discuss it with your parents or a person with a financial background. Think about school loans and figure out terms and conditions for it. Contemplate whether you are ready to take on a loan or would prefer another way to pay for your education?
Secret tip: Always make lists of pros and cons. It helps to see clearly all the possible options and compare them. Even PhD thesis writers do it for their big research projects. This is a very good tool for any kind of decision making, especially for life-changing crucial ones.
4. Fourth step
Browse through colleges that fit your demands in terms of field, location, and finances. Make a list of all of them and check requirements to get into college, listing them below. This will help to narrow your choices and allowing a clear perspective on the available options. Pick the top 5 desired options and proceed to the next step.
5. Fifth step
This is the most excruciating step for most of the applicants – the paperwork, the deadlines, and the hassle of it. But do not worry, the lists and bullet points will help us here too. Make sure to check the list of all required documents for each college and mention the deadlines. If the paperwork is not a particularly strong side of you, try to make a process more rewarding, literally. Set up a system of small treats for each accomplished task, create a chill atmosphere at your work desk. After the list is complete – start applying.
Secret tip. Do not put too many stakes on one option. Make sure to have several possible colleges to apply and also a couple of alternatives. And of course – do not forget deadlines.
Following our step by step guide won’t tell you which job or profession to choose. However, it will make the process of college picking much easier and much less stressful. Good organizational skills can help not only during college time but also prior to it – in any complex decision-making processes.
Jeff Blaylock is a popular educational blogger and specialist in student counseling. He has a background in psychology and years of teaching experience. His blog focuses on advice to future and current students on learning processes, helpful skills, and handy tips.