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Snippet of College Made Easy: How to Choose a College - Where to Begin

From Audio: HOW TO CHOOSE A COLLEGE | WHERE TO BEGIN

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‎College Made Easy Podcast
Duration: 11:09
College students share their personal experiences of choosing the right college for them. It's important that your school feels like the right fit for you.
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College students share their personal experiences of choosing the right college for them. For some, they had no idea where they wanted to go, while others had a very clear vision of what their university life would be like. It's important that your school feels like the right fit for you, no matter what anybody else thinks.
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so, yeah, You want to get into some personal experiences about how we chose our school, the process we went through because I know I struggled with looking for schools when I was in high school. I'm sure many of us and many of people listening to this honestly don't want to think about it. They want to, like, ignore it for the most part, because it is a big choice. It's a big responsibility, Um, and and it's kind of like one of these things, like, Oh, you're you're 18 years old. What do you want to do the rest of your life? And I don't think any 18 year old can actually answer that, right, because, like the college application process, they want you to pick your major pick like your school, like a lot of especially bigger school. It's like if you're going to the School of Business to School of Liberal Arts and some people have no idea. And I think that going undecided as this really bad rep, like you're going to spend 40 granted to school and you don't know what you want. But most of the times that would be the best move if you're still kind of feeling the waters out. I'm curious. Did either of you have any idea what you wanted going into the search process? Like as far as size, location and all those kinds of, like, initial questions you're supposed to ask? I think you know, for someone. Are you sure? I think for me I knew that I wanted a smaller school because I went to a middle school which was private and Catholic. There was 10 kids in my grade, which was obviously very small. And then I went to a high school that had about 85 kids in my grade. So I always got to be like, I don't want to say this in the wrong way, but like big fish, small pond like you get to know your professors, you get to know your classmates. But you also get to know all the other classes and all the other professors and build those relationships. And that was so important to me. So I knew I couldn't be at a school where you swipe in in that attendance. You know, I know that some schools you don't even have to attend the class, so you can just like you just watch the lecture because it's the whole thing is recorded from the back of the room, right? That's a majority. I think the majority of schools aren't like our school where you do have to go to class, then where you're getting your money's where it yeah, if you're not going to class, you're losing money. Exactly. Um, yeah. But like I remember when I started the process, I had so many different schools on my list and there was no theme to them at all. I had no idea if I wanted private or public, big or small. You know, I had a Stony Brook. What's that like 12,000? It's more than that, Right, Students. It's Stony Brook. And then I looked it up. Schools even smaller than ours on the list. I had City I at schools deep in New York City, like Fordham on the list and schools as far out as, like Oneonta that is in the middle of nowhere, right? It's 17,510. Yeah, so, like a school that big on the same list with schools as small as ours. So I think for me two major things was like the distance from home because I knew I could not be a flight away. And at the time I would have even gone to school like, five or six hours away, because it still seems like like a short drive. But it was definitely location and then probably priced, like when you when it got closer and closer to the decision day. I was like, Okay, like, obviously there are schools that I would love to go to and the experience to be a little different, But I knew I could have a similar experience for, like, 10 or $20,000 less, and it definitely plays a huge role. Um, not to get to school was very competitive price for me also. Yeah. Same. Not to get too philosophical, but people love recognition. Um and I think at least for me, uh, people want you want to go to the school that you feel wanted. A lot of these schools, you're just You're just a paycheck. You're just a number. Um, but like at least at our school, like when I went on tours and stuff like that, I met with what is the word. Who are the people that do tours and all that Ambassadors, Ambassadors is just the admissions admissions. I always I always have the pathfinders at our school finders. Yeah, all that stuff. When I met with, like, admissions people, they were super nice to me. Um, they started asking me my g p a like while I was there, and I told you grew I was with my parents. I was just meeting one on one. We were in the dining hall. Um, she's like, Oh, yeah, What's your g p m like? I'm not gonna say it on this. I'm like, yeah, it's this Scott, you don't have a four point out. I'm leaving. Uh, and she's like, she's like, Oh, yeah, yeah, you're like, I mean, she could be a great thing. Yeah, she's like your great feel. Like she came in that vibe of like, Oh, we'd love you to have you, like, obviously like, um, I did well in high school. So and yeah, like that. That feeling of being wanted is very powerful, like, you go to all the other tours and I went on a bunch of other tours, but I didn't feel as wanted at other schools. Mhm. I'd say tours are so important because I definitely went on several tours where I was, like, Definitely not or like, if the admissions day at the school didn't flow well, that definitely was like a big red flag, I guess. Advice to colleges, if any admissions offices are listening, I think for me like it was like a lot of the Facebook group chats and like getting like the little amount, like mixing and mingling. You really want to, like, get a vibe of the other students that are also interested in that school? Because I do think that certain schools attract a certain type of student, you know, like when we look through, like college groups, had some people are like I love to go out. I love to hit the bars. I love to party, and there's other people who are like I love to do weekend trips to Boston or, you know, like you can just see if it fits what you're looking for in a school or if it's a combination. You know, some schools are probably more raw rather than others. My friend James, this is completely random but like going off what you just said about what you like to do on weekends. My friend James at our school will literally just drive to like Vermont every single weekend with his drone and just take incredible like video four K videos and like incredible photos of Just like Vermont. That's crazy, because every single week and I was like That's so cool and he has his like on instagram page and everything. We'll have to talk about this after the podcast because I have no idea who James's Econ major tall classes lives in our building. I don't know. Okay, we'll talk after, Um, I guess, Um, I think it's true that you shouldn't really be anxious about not choosing the right college just because there's no like 100% perfect fit. And there's probably several schools that will fit well, and I mean, worse comes to worse. There's always that transfer option. Um, my dogs are being with you. Thankfully, none of us had to use that, but I don't think it's transfer is the end of the world, either. If it's truly not a great match, I mean, all the credits go over there there's occasionally, you know, a problem with one or two of them, but the vast majority of them will transfer over. And you're still moving forward with your education. Even at the wrong school, It just might not be the right like social emotional fit, for sure. I mean, um, we had one, At least one of the kids in our whole freshman year. Scott, who transferred in. I mean, even as he left, you know, everybody was like, We're going to miss you, but we know it's It's for your best. Don't dumb. I don't know if I'm transferred talking about Mario. Oh, Mario, Right. What am I thinking? Sorry. Continue. I know that was That was the end of that thought. I think that when you're making the decision in high school like I know for me, Decision Day was like a really high stress day when everyone would wear their shirts and especially in a smaller school, like you want to be proud and, like, show off like all your hard work the past four years and like where it's led you to be, you know, and I think that there is a really bad stigma attached to like this certain, like level of school you should be at. But I don't think it discredits like going to college honestly, like you should be so proud of yourself or even making it that far like college is like a level of education that you're not forced to do. You can like, you know what I mean? A lot of students can opt out of that or take years off. But I think that even if you're going to community college like that's what Ben did and then transferred into Sienna like you should be proud of wherever you're going. And it shouldn't be High Stress Day or decision. And for some reason it's People put a lot of pressure on themselves when applying to schools, and then they just think they were like, Oh, if I make the wrong choice picking a school, it could be the end of my whole career, right? That's that's not realistic at all. That's not how the world works. Um, and I think to bring some econ in here, people focus on the opportunity costs of going to a certain school. Um, like Oh, what if I went here like I could have been this major. I could have met these friends, but it's like you're just going down like some crazy rabbit hole like you don't You can't predict the future or like an alternate reality. You know what I mean? And honestly, like every single semester for me at college has been like a different experience. Like I meet even at our smaller school, I meet someone new in every class, like if you go to the dining hall and you bump into someone who is wearing like a sports shirt from your like county, and you recognize that like you really never know what is going to shift your experience.
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