5 Things to Consider When Choosing a College

Congratulations! You have made it! You are on your way to having the future you have always imagined. You have worked hard, poured your heart and soul, sweat and tears and much of your time to becoming the college-ready individual you are today – you rock!

By now you have probably noticed the constant questions “What are you going to be when you’re older?”, “What college are you going to?”, or “What is your major going to be?”. And by now you might be feeling the weight of your entire future sitting right on your nerve-wracked shoulders.

Worry not my friend, I have been in your shoes, in fact (believe it or not) almost every ‘adult’ has to face the “who will I become” and “how do I get there” questions. To help guide you to making the best decision for your future, I have created a list of important factors to consider when you are making this life changing decision:

Discover your passion

For many of you this may be easy, you are an artist, an athlete, a musician or an entrepreneur. If that is the case then this should be an easy task for you. Think about your passion; really reflect on what you have done well in your life. Then consider how  you can use your talents in a way that will contribute to the beautiful world we live in. I don’t mean the easy answers: becoming a sculptor, a famous singer or an amazing athlete (while these are fantastic goals, you need to consider the first step you must to take before you get there!). What I mean is, what kind of regular, every day job can you get that relates to what you are most passionate about?

For instance, if you are a talented athlete, you may want to start your career by becoming a promoter of fitness and health! Or use your natural abilities to help others by becoming a paramedic or nurse. There are so many options, it just takes a little self-exploration!

(Now, if you don’t feel as though you have a certain ‘talent’ or ‘passion’ that’s okay. You are not alone…but not to fear! Just focus on your interests; because you are definitely talented. Your time in college is going to be especially adventurous as you will use your journey to discover your passion and refine your skills!)

Research career paths

Once you have started to discover how your interests, passions and talents play a role in your future career, it’s time to sit at your phone/tablet (because let’s be real, nobody uses computers anymore), and take deeper dive into what kind of career paths you can take. Take a look at websites like Statistics Canada , or read related blogs and watch videos from experts in the field.

When you are reading about all of the cool, interesting jobs you can get, keep some things in mind: your values. Keep reading to find out why your values are so critical to making the right college decision.

Understand your values

What is important to you? I mean really, what matters most to you? What makes you feel the most comfortable and the most happy in this world? If you aren’t sure, or haven’t thought of it before, that’s normal! Many people begin to discover those things about themselves as they experience new things in life. But take a minute now and think of three important aspects of your life that you feel you cannot live without.

….

Have you got your list? Great! Now high five yourself for being self-aware and a forward thinker. There are many different values that you could have listed; health, family, honesty, wealth, success, etc. Your list will tell you what is going to help make you get up in the morning and what will make you the happiest in the future. So consider how each of those values will be affected by the college journey you choose to take.

Visit the surrounding city

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a college is the surrounding city that you will spend some of the most important years of your life.

Are you looking to live close to family? Do you want to live in a loud and lively city? Or a small quiet town? These are important questions to ask yourself as they will have a big impact on your overall college experience.

Check out the cities that surround your prospective colleges. Stay a night or two, meet locals and check out the downtown area! Doing so will help make your decision easier. Go with your gut and follow what feels right for you.

Reach out to the colleges

You are going to have a lot of questions about how to apply, student job opportunities, athletics, due dates, and more. Reach out to the college! Call recruitment, message them on social media, or send them an email. They want you there as much as you want to be there so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

If you aren’t comfortable calling the college and speaking to a staff member, you can always talk to a peer contact here at SLC (you may have already followed one of our pages to get to this blog). We are students helping students get the answers they need to make the best decision for them!

You are ready and prepared for the next huge step in your life. Take it! And if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out! This is your life – only you can make it happen.

 

– Jess, SLC Life Creator and SLC Alumni