How To Choose The Right College

by - March 28, 2019

I'm not in college anymore, but I'm a recent grad with so much advice. 



I had the best time in college. My grades were good, I was really involved, I met my closest friends, and I really just had a great time. Maybe your college experience has been the same or maybe you're struggling a bit. When choosing a college or even deciding to stay, lots of factors come into play. Here's a few things to consider!

A Safe Space
Not just physically, that goes without saying, but college should be somewhere you can learn and explore ideas but also to make mistakes. One of the very best ways to learn a valuable lesson is to get it wrong the first time. So, if you’re in a class where you’re afraid of getting things wrong for fear of ridicule, you might well be in the wrong college or class. You’re not a young kid any more, how you’re treated as a young adult will pave the way for how you treat and expect to be treated in the workplace.
The focus on creating these safe spaces falls, not just on the mindsets of the students but with the teachers themselves. If the senior management is setting the examples, then this culture or security will cascade down into the classrooms.

Equality Is Important
Colleges looking at how to create a positive learning environment, will pay special attention to creating a level playing field for students. Students should step into the classroom knowing they are among equals not better or worse than anyone else and not more or less entitled to be there. 
The college’s policy on racism, homophobia and so on should be made explicitly clear and reinforced by all the staff from teachers through to the office receptionist. While there will be differences of opinion and matters that are up for debate, you should never feel you’re going to be verbally attacked or dismissed based on your family income or the color of your skin.

Reach Out To Alumni
If you’re in a position where you need to choose a college and are looking around try and have a conversation with students who have recently finished to get a sense of what it was like to study there. Did they have access to all the equipment they needed? Were the teaching staff supportive and helpful? Did they feel they were pushed to reach their potential and not just to achieve a qualification? You’ll want to know about what it was like from a personal perspective and not just through a brochure or website.

It’s hard to choose a college and even harder to change college once you’re there but if you are studying in an environment which really isn’t right for you, then the sooner the change, the sooner you can get to where you should be. The issues stem from not really knowing what you’re getting into until you arrive in class on the very first day, so it’s well worth reading and researching before you make a decision. Take your time and don’t rush into making a decision, instead make sure you visit the campus and talk to alumni about the realities of life at that particular college.

While many colleges have specialities that appeal to a student studying in that field, there are so many other factors to take into account. Don’t be blinded by the pure academic achievements, look to make a decision based on the whole.

Look at what’s on offer in the area immediately around the college and if there’s anything there that supports your existing hobbies and interests, consider how far you’d be prepared to commute from home or whether you’d live on campus. Consider what extra-curricular activities there are for students on site.

All of this is important but the right, supportive learning environment is the most important of all so make this a priority when you go and visit colleges. If you’re not experiencing this where you are, look into making a change as soon as you can. You’re not at school anymore and you don’t have to put up with unsupportive or even bullying behaviour. Your college years should be a positive stepping stones towards your future goals so get those qualifications, make those mistakes and use your positive experiences to launch your future career. You’ll never regret choosing a college that puts you on the path to achieving your dreams.

xx, 
Amanda

You May Also Like

0 comments