How to: Know You Made the Right Choice

By: Sarah Smith

Alright so, you have read up, toured (maybe), and applied to multiple schools and you finally think you’ve found THE ONE. The others were fine but this one is different. It has that club, sport, class, program, campus, atmosphere, person, etc. (DO NOT GO TO COLLEGE STRICTLY BECAUSE OF A SIGNIFICANT OTHER OR FRIEND WHAT IS RIGHT FOR THEM MAY NOT BE FOR YOU… post to come later on that) that you love and you think it’s just perfect for you. You have accepted that schools offer and now you wait till the first semester. This leaves you time to think about the major decision you have just made. A lot of time. Maybe too much. Oh no. Did I make the right choice?

“Did I make the right choice?” A question every single person asks themselves after a major life choice. It’s okay to question things we do and simply human nature. When you choose your college it is viewed as choosing your future. It is a huge life decision and, for most, it is the first major decision made that will impact your own life/future. Knowing that you made the right choice and not questioning it once it’s all said and done with is a phenomena unknown to many. If you are anything like me you will question if you made the right choice up to the day that said decision comes to pass. And it is important to know that, that is perfectly okay.

You should recognize that the decision you made is a good one but, it is okay to question your decision. You are stepping out of your comfort zone and moving in with, for many, random people and have to change your whole way of living. Suddenly, your 30 person class is a 300 person class, teachers are now spiffier and called “professors”, they only know you by “the quiet kid in the blue hoodie, and some do NOT care if you are sick or if you didn’t do the homework, and everyone around you is drinking energy drinks and coffee and living off of eating a variety of microwavable noodles. It is a HUGE change and decision but, it is not permanent.

Now, it is important to understand and grasp that college is important. It is a huge step of independence. However, if you really hate the college/university you are at and really think that you are better of at a different college/university (including community college) or think you would be better off at a trade school there is NOTHING wrong with that. NEVER EVER let anyone tell you there is. Every person is different and it is important to understand that. Just because “X”college/university is a great choice for Sally doesn’t mean it’s a great choice for her twin Jane who would do better at a trade school and her best friend Andy who will succeed better if he goes to community college and moves from there. Let’s not forget that in some cases, as I previously mentioned, people may switch which college/university they go to. This is also normal and perfectly acceptable. There is nothing wrong with change for the betterment of yourself. I’m gonna use my previous example again. Let’s say Sally toured “X” and thought she would love it because she loved the campus and the department for her major and she had her roommate picked out. Sally starts her first week at “X” and decides it isn’t the right fit for her. She has 2 choices: she can A.) Drop out, take the rest of the semester off, see if she can start at her second choice that she was accepted to, and go there starting the next semester, or B.) Finish out semester 1 at “X” and then transfer to “N” for the remainder of her time in school. There is nothing wrong with doing this. Sometimes things aren’t as they seem.

Finally, if you are in the anxious but hopeful group starting out as freshmen at whatever college/university you chose and you go through that first day and start to wonder if you made the right choice because you didn’t make friends, don’t know anyone, or just are plain old scared then, stick it out for a week. The first couple days at my university FILLED me with anxiety. I was worried I wouldn’t fit in or wouldn’t find friends and my current friends there seemed to be having a great time without me at first and it filled me with MORE anxiety. Take a breath…. It will all be okay. Every single freshman or transfer student is in the same boat as you. They are scared and anxious. After classes started and everyone got into a set routine, things calmed down. Enjoy the college/university you picked. The crowds will die down a couple days after everyone gets back on campus. You will make friends and hang with those that came to that school with you from high school. It gets better. It takes time. If you have high anxiety go to the counselors they want to help and talk to your friends and your roommate(s) they care. You know it is the right school on that random day when the thought passes of: “Huh. I’m glad I picked this school.” You also know when you go home and you’re dying to come back because you miss the freedom and most importantly your friends.

Side note: To all the high school kids (including some of my friends from my old high school) please don’t rush to get to college. Enjoy high school. I know classes seem hard and some days it feels like things will never get better and you don’t have TRUE friends in school and the teachers don’t care. I promise, ESPECIALLY if you are from my old high school, the teachers DO care, things DO get better, and there is always one other person looking for a friend just like you. If you are from my old school and you want to talk to someone I know I spent HOURS talking to (imma just put their first initial of their last name because I don’t want to put them on blast) Mr.W, Mr.A, Mrs.Do, Mrs. G, Mrs. B, Mrs. St, and (my theater friends) Mr.D. They care about you guys and so do I and other people. If you need anything reach out to me.

See ya’ll soon!

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