By: Abby Koval
As our school year flies by, our seniors look for guidance while transitioning into the college lifestyle. This is a scary, confusing time for most high school seniors. Preparing for the rest of your life is no easy task.
When choosing a college you have to first consider the location. This could be how far away it is, whether it is in the city, or the weather. Some students may want to go somewhere warm, some may want to stay close to home, and some may want to get as far away as possible. While talking to last year’s senior class, I found that most students chose to stay close to Pittsburgh. Many students chose to stay within two or so hours from home. We had many seniors go to Duquesne and various branches of Pitt. Although many students chose to stay close, we had a couple travel to places like North Carolina. The best thing to do when choosing a school is to stay a comfortable distance from home. You will not be able to enjoy, or be successful without being comfortable with where you are. It also depends on what kind of experience you want to have in college. The students that I interviewed who attended a local college tend to come home almost every weekend, as much as possible. Some people like being able to come home whenever they feel the need to. Some students would rather have the full college experience, being away from home and on your own for longer periods of time. This, again, is based on your personal preference.
Another concern when choosing a college is what the student plans to major in. It is great to know in advance, because you can start taking specific classes for your major early on. Many students think they need to declare a major before starting school, which causes them to choose a random major and end up not enjoying it or being successful. Do not rush things, you can enter college as undecided, and choose a major later on in the process. Many of last year’s seniors who I interviewed did exactly that. Some are starting to realize what they want to do now, and some still have yet to decide. Don’t stress about a major, you have time to think things through and pick the best fit for you.
One huge question while preparing for college is whether or not you will know anyone, or meet anyone, and who your roommate will be. A lot of the seniors from last year who went to a local school went in knowing at least one other person. On top of previously knowing people, they met many new people. There were also students who went knowing nobody at all. This is probably the more difficult choice, but it is always great to make new friends. It may be hard the first day or two depending on your personality, but you’re bound to meet great new people to share the college experience with. If you know somebody going, you could consider them as a potential roommate, or you can be paired up randomly with a roommate. I have heard many great stories from both situations. Friends become closer when living together all the time; and everyone I interviewed who got a randomly assigned roommate talks about how they’re so close now, once you find some things you have in common, you click right away. Don’t stress yourself out about making friends at college, there are so many people there that it is impossible not to meet great people.
Lastly, the seniors of 2012 have some advice for the class of 2013. “Don’t over think things. Before I came to school I was a nervous wreck, now i never want to go home. Wherever you choose to go, you’ll have a blast, I promise.”
Another senior from the class of 2012 said, “College is so different from high school, it’s so much fun. Don’t let the fun get in the way of your studies. It’s really easy to get behind on your work. No one is here babying you about your work. Finish your work and studies first, then you can have all the fun you want.”
As you can tell, college is not something to be nervous about, many of your classmates from last year absolutely love it, and so will you. Do what you’re comfortable with, don’t stress over it, study hard, and have fun!