You've Been Accepted...Now What?

It’s that time of year. Unless you’re a senior in high school, this may seem like any other time. To a high school senior going to college, it is crunch time. Maybe you got into your dream school. Maybe you got rejected from your favorite. Maybe you’re waiting patiently to get off the waitlist. Either way, this is certainly a stressful time…but what now? Sure, you got into college, but now you have to choose. Where do you even start? Here are some tips that may make your whole search process a bit easier:

Tour again

While you may think you loved the school the first time or two you visited, it may be a whole new vibe to you after being accepted or comparing it to other schools. So, give yourself a chance to visit again and walk around to take a closer look. Make sure to observe the atmosphere of the area, the way students interact with each other, and the way you see yourself fitting in there. A tour is only as useful as you make it.

Sit in on a class

This may seem like a waste of time, especially if you’re not in college yet. But sitting in a class (if it’s an option for the college you’re looking at) is a great way to learn more about the academics of the school and see the things you find useful and not in a new classroom setting. It also helps you better understand the transition from a high school classroom to a college classroom. 

Do your research

Seriously. Don’t just choose a school because it’s pretty or you think it’s fun. What does this school have for you? How will its academics help you to work towards your career goals? What is the student to faculty ratio? How valued is partying? Do they have clubs that interest you? There are many factors that play into what school you choose and what school fits you best. It’s a good plan to have thoughts as to why under your belt. 

Go to the open houses

Sure, they can be cheesy and over the top, but open houses really do showcase the school. Of course, the presentation won’t be exactly as the school is—every school has its flaws that the open house probably won’t show you. But, they will show you all the cool things going on and give you a chance to explore more on your own than you can with a tour. Plus, if you can bear the corny speeches and mascots lurking around every corner and still find yourself loving the school, then maybe it’s the one for you!

Ask the questions you want to ask

Don’t be shy: this is the next four years (maybe more) of your life that you’re deciding on. You want to know the truth about all of it, even if the question is weird. Contact your tour guide, contact the admissions office, do whatever you have to in order to get the answers you want (within reason, of course). 

Be open-minded

Even if it’s not your dream school, going in with a sour attitude isn’t going to make the experience any better. There is lots to do and explore throughout these next four years, and this school may open up new possibilities you can’t even imagine yet. So, be fair to the schools you visit. You don’t have to love all of them—you probably won’t—but you should try to give it the benefit of the doubt to see where it is you really want to be.