Pressures for choosing the right college

Mackenzie Coughlin, Staff Writer

There comes a time in every high schooler’s journey when the college search process begins, which can occur as soon as freshmen year all the way up to the deadline for submitting applications. It is common to start narrowing down which colleges to attend extremely early in the overall college process. This can create difficulties when choosing the right college or university.  

With the overwhelming number of colleges across the world, choosing your top candidates can be very intimidating. You must factor in many decisions, such as how far you want to be from home, your budget, if you want a big or small campus, the majors that are offered, and so much more. Not every college is the right fit for everyone, as every campus has its own personality that might not match your own.  

When it comes to finding the right college for all of one’s needs, there are several added stressors that can hinder one’s view. For example, a large reason many people pick the schools they do is due to its name. Almost every college will offer the exact same majors, have the same coursework, and will give you the same level of degree. Going to a big-name school obviously comes at a higher cost, but at what cost do you sacrifice your value of life 

It is not uncommon to see students choose schools simply because their friends are attending, and it looks like a fun place. It is crazy to build a future based off the “fun factor” and not what will benefit you in your life and career.  

To flip the script, when students do choose the smaller, less well-known schools that offer basically the same education for half the price, there seems to be a silent stigma that occurs. When someone announces that they are going to “Insert Big-Name University” everyone is so proud and excited for them. When someone announces that they are going to “Insert Small-Name College” there are the standard head nods and slight grins.  

I think the stigma around choosing a college and picking to go to a big-name or small-name university is overrated. College is something that is not about popularity like high school is. College is about self-discovery and finding your place in the world, not about who can spend the most money or have the most fame.