Applying to college

Madalyn Dishman, Editor-in-Chief

For some, choosing a college to attend is easy. They’re simply following in their parents’ or siblings’ footsteps. Or, they have had a college in mind for as long as they can remember. I fall into none of these categories, and as November first is vastly approaching, I’m afraid I’ll regret which college I choose as my number one choice.

My dad and I spent the second half of summer intensely researching every college and travelling to those that interested me. I visited a total of five colleges: University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Emerson College, and New York University. When I was deciding what colleges to look at, I wanted to look a little closer to home, but I also wanted to explore the idea of going out of state and living in an entirely new setting.

I’ve always thought I was indecisive, but I never realized how hard choosing a college would be. As I looked at every single college, I judged each on a scale of one to ten on a variety of categories: the feeling I had on campus, how it looked, what the rate of employment was after graduation, my chances of being accepted, what the dorms were like, the opportunities students have socially, and how accessible classes are from dorm rooms. However, looking back at how I judged, I’m now realizing that I could see myself attending almost all of the colleges.

The one college I’ve decided to rule out is Emerson College which is in Boston. Although I’ve admired the school for the past few years, going to the campus definitely changed my vision of the school. I didn’t feel like I could see myself living in the dorms or going to the classes they described. As it is a college known for its liberal arts programs, I think it had a very impressive set up for students, especially those hoping to pursue journalism, but it just didn’t seem right for me. Although an educational program may be exceptional, if you don’t feel like you could call the campus home you probably shouldn’t go there.

With the other colleges I have grouped U of M and NYU together. These colleges gave me the feeling I was hoping to have when I walked onto campus. Both of these schools were in an urban area– being in Ann Arbor and New York City– but were still very safe schools. The only downfall to these schools are my test scores as my GPA exceeds expectations but I get too nervous during tests and don’t score as high as I would like. Another problem is the binding rule with NYU’s early decision applicants. This may reduce my chances of getting into other schools so I’m holding off on this application until after the first deadline.

I also really enjoyed Michigan State and Wayne State more than I had anticipated. My mom went to Wayne State with a full ride so I’ve always felt pressured to look into Wayne State. But after going to the school and looking into their programs and activities available to students, I was pleasantly surprised. As State’s population is mostly Michiganders, I know that this school would be another great option for me. Even though these schools may not be at the top of my list right now, I can see myself attending these schools and enjoying them.

Applying to college is tough as you want to push yourself to receive the best education possible but you also want to enjoy your time there. The application process is not one I take lightly as the university I attend will shape who I am in the future. Although I still don’t know what college I want to attend, I know that I have narrowed down my options to a few great schools that I’d be happy at.