College Preparation-don’t sweat it

Nathan Christopher, Senior Writer

Many juniors have realized it’s time to sit down and start preparing for college. Eager to begin the process, you sit down at your computer, but you end up staring blankly at the screen with no idea where to start. Realizing that searching for the right college is undoubtedly an intimidating process is stressful, but it’s certainly manageable.
As a senior who has gone through this highly stressful and time-consuming process already, the biggest problem I’ve recognized is that many students do not know precisely what they want in a school, and this can make it nearly impossible to find the right fit.
As I’m sure many would agree, the first step with college preparation is figuring out what you want in a school by determining your interests and passions.
You can do this by asking yourself certain questions: do you want a small school or a big school? Do you want to stay in-state or go out-of-state? Are certain geographic regions out of the question? Are you looking to be in a sorority or fraternity? Are good sports teams an essential factor? How prestigious of a school are you looking for? What majors or programs are you most likely to be interested in?
However, don’t stress out. You don’t have to have all the answers right now.
While it can be greatly beneficial to know exactly which major you plan to pursue or precisely what state you plan to pursue it in, the reality is most students have no idea whatsoever in which direction they plan to go.
Students may be feeling pressure from their parents, friends, or even themselves, but the best advice I can offer is that not knowing what you want yet is 100% okay.
Oftentimes, as each student evolves throughout their junior and senior year, things just seem to fall into place. Yes, this process is stressful at times, but the key is trusting that you won’t overthink the process and be consumed with stress and worry.
A few last tips I can offer are to find a balance of schools that you know you can be accepted to and schools that will be a stretch to get into, and also, make sure to utilize your resources in this process. The counselors and the career center specialists are there to help you manage this process effectively, and I would highly recommend obtaining input from them along your way.
While searching for the right school will appear daunting at first, by following this advice you can definitely make the process manageable.