08/29/16

Applying to College – Part Six: Making a decision

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This is part five of my “Applying to College” series! I hope that these help some of you in your college search and process. If you missed part one of this series, check it out here: my experience applying to college, finding the right school, pre-application prep, applying, and results.

Note: I’m not an expert in any way, shape or form. My advice may not get you into your dream college – it’s just what worked for me!

visiting campus

If you are invited to fly up to campus, try to make it happen. I did one fly-up for a school I got into and it completely changed my tune about the school. It went from being purely a safety to one of my “I’d TOTALLY go there” choices. One recommendation is that if the school doesn’t offer to pay for your flight, ask them if they can. Call up the admissions office and see what they say – let them know you’re incredibly interested in the school, but visiting the school would be the piece that would allow you to say yes.

make a pros and cons list

If you’re struggling over which school to pick, I highly recommend making a pros and cons list. Think back to the reasons you applied to each school and the things you love about each one, along with the things you aren’t so sure about. Compare and consider your end thoughts.

talk to a current student

I know a junior at Barnard, so I called her up and spent two hours on the phone asking her a billion questions and hearing all about her experience at the school. That conversation cemented my decision to go to Barnard! If you don’t know someone at a school you’re highly considering, call their admissions office and ask if you can speak with a student. Pretty much every office has students working there and they’d probably be happy to chat with you about the school and answer any questions you may have.

think, think, think.

I spent a lot of time mulling over my choices while doing laps in a pool, one of the few places where I can mull things over in my head. I highly suggest going to whatever place allows you to do that and just thinking about your options. Which one feels the most right? What’s holding you back from making that choice, if there’s anything holding you back?

make the best choice for you

I cannot stress this enough. Make your college choice based on what YOU want, because you’ll be the one living there for the next four years. If it’s something that your family can financially swing and you love it with your entire heart and soul, take the plunge. Your college decision should be something that you feel confident in, and even if it wasn’t your first choice, it should still be a decision you’re comfortable with.

submit your decision

This was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Accepting my admission at Barnard made me almost cry with happiness, and hitting decline for the rest of my acceptances was incredibly freeing. Revel in what you’ve succeeded in doing, and then go out and celebrate because guess what? YOU’RE GOING TO COLLEGE!


I hope you enjoyed this series, and feel free to email me or shoot me a tweet if you have any questions! Email: willasramblings@gmail.com, and Twitter is @WillasRamblings.

Best of luck on your college adventures!