Applying to college is a stressful time that most college students do not look back on and miss, as it is often linked with bad memories. Prospective students face thousands of options while differentiating between colleges in order to make the ultimate decision. Although the entire process can seem long and stressful, there are many things to keep in mind during this challenging time. Here are some factors that are often left in the margins.
1. Slacking off senior year is not an option. For some reason “senioritis” has become acceptable among students over time. This may be the most destructive factor students overlook. Aside from the obvious reasons why one should not succumb to senioritis, like doing well on AP exams, finals, and keeping his or her grades up, there are even worse symptoms. If you do not do work for an entire year followed by a long summer break, starting college is like trying to run the Boston Marathon without any training at all. It can take students months to recover from senioritis before getting back into their normal work ethic.
2. Some schools are better suited for certain majors. This may seem obvious, but surprisingly enough students will start college with a major and then after taking a few classes will decide to change upon realizing that their institution does not offer something they want or it’s not a very good program. That being said, not knowing which major to choose as a first year is not crucial, but it is important to research all of the majors and weigh the options. Preparing for change is too often overlooked as we forget that sometimes Plan B is just as important as Plan A.
3. Extra curricular activities will vary. After narrowing down which university has the best options available, take into account the academic opportunities, clubs, sports, etc. There should be a balance between school work and free time and the right clubs and groups can help with that. Cultural or volunteer groups are crucial after school activities that allow students to really integrate and participate on campus.
4. Every college attracts different kinds of people. While colleges may pride themselves on the diversity of their student population, most schools find themselves dominated by a certain type of people. Whether it be “Lax Bros”, the Greek system, art students, liberals, conservatives, the religious, the non affiliated, preps or geeks, your student population will be your world for the next four years so make sure you know what you’re getting into.
5. The location of the school also carries weight. After a certain point distance does not matter since flying from Los Angeles to Boston is not very different from flying to Boston from Western Pennsylvania. Home is still just a plane ride away and chances are that two students from these two places will go home just as frequently. However, there is a large difference to consider regarding the physical environment of a school. In moving to a new place, most people only consider travel costs and the number of times they can go home. But equally important is the school’s climate (are you warm weather natives ready for a significant drop in vitamin D?), the surrounding area (city or middle of nowhere?), and the basic geography of the place.
6. Whether or not a prospective student likes a campus is very important since a school’s grounds will become his or her surrounding environment for the next four years. During a student’s college experience, he or she will spend more time on the school’s campus than he or she will at home. Therefore, keep in mind that a campus that is displeasing on your first visit will continue to be so for the next four years.
So as long as you keep these helpful hints in mind, the decision-making process will not be as daunting as legend has it!
School, major and year: A&S, Economics, 2015
HometownRancho Cucamonga, California
What makes the Gavel so BANGin’? We keep it fresh. It’s drippin with swagger and is home to some of the coolest cats on campus. The Gavel is always fun and I’ve met nothing short of amazing people and writers here.
You have 24 hours to give prospective students a tour of BC and convince them to enroll. How do you spend the day? I’d start by getting some coffee and a personalized omelet at Mac. Then we’d go lose our voices at a football game and wear our super awesome Superfan shirts. We would then go see one of the amazing Acapella groups perform. We’d get some Mac N Cheese from the Rat for lunch. We would go see My Mother’s Fleabag for an awesome good time. Then we’d take a break and visit the dorms (i.e. sit in my room and watch Mean Girls…because Mean Girls.). We would then go to a hockey game, then to the Mods, and end the night at Late Night.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a pep talk the night before you moved into BC as a freshman, what is the most important piece of advice that you would give to your former self? Eat your vegetables and take a lot of pictures.
What is your favorite study spot on campus? The Rat
What is your go-to meal at Late Night? That delicious Simply Orange juice the dining halls always have stocked. This and a personal pizza topped with ketchup. Judge all you want, but ketchup on pizza is the best thing to happen since Game of Thrones.
What is the #1 most played song on your iTunes? “I Always Knew” by the Vaccines
What is the best Halloween costume that you have ever worn? I was Minnie Mouse as a kid. Not trying to brag, but I rocked the ears off that costume.
If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Del Taco
If you could befriend the main characters from any TV show or movie, who would you choose and why? Easy. Harry Potter. (I’m assuming) I’d get to go to Hogwarts, be a wizard AND be friends with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It’s a win win, for me anyway. If I can’t be a wizard then i’d be friends with the main characters from This Is The End.