Knowing Priorities Helps Narrow Choices

By Carter CasaDeCalvo on June 25, 2013
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Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis
Hometown: Robbinsdale, Minnesota

Today, as I think about life after high school and the decisions in the coming months, it is very stressful and even scary to think about. However, when considering this next milestone in life it becomes easier when I focus on my own priorities.

Here are my three most important criteria in determining what would be the best fit for me after high school. First, I know in this next chapter of my life I want to head off to a four-year college next fall. I am also very close to my family, and it has always been a dream of mine to attend a college that isn’t too far away. Lastly, it is apparent to me that I desire to attend a large college. After attending small private schools my whole life, I wish for a change.

Knowing these priorities allows me to narrow all of my choices for next year so as not to feel so overwhelmed. After visiting multiple colleges over the last two years, I found that is was helpful in determining what it is that I am looking for in my college experience. It is equally important to know what you do not want as much as what you do want.

Preparing for compromise

The challenges that come with wanting a larger college close to home would be the limited options that are available to me. This means I may have to compromise in the size, location, or both. This could possibly affect my parents with the financial piece if the school I end up at does not provide reciprocity, or the financial aid package is not as desirable as an in-state institution.

At this point, I am struggling with managing my time between college and scholarship applications, preparing for the ACT test, school work, job, sports and finding time for fun. I am addressing these many issues by allotting a specific time block to each priority. For example, I spend 15 minutes each night on my ACT studies. I also base my work schedule off of the predetermined times set for schooling and sports.

Organizing my life in such a way has led to more enjoyment and excitement instead of stress and anxiety concerning the changes to come.

Researching, visiting to find best fit
When it comes to fi guring out the best fi t for me, I like to research and visit the college campuses, if possible. This allows me to ask questions and get a fi rst-hand look to see if I can picture myself there for the next four years. There is a lot you can learn from the atmosphere of a campus, such as observing student life in an unbiased way, and fi nding what student groups are available. Recognizing the possibilities of a fun and enlightening environment makes it easier to imagine that college/university as a good fit.

No matter what, I know that my college experience will be one filled with the joy and challenges that come with acquiring a higher education.

About the Author

Carter CasaDeCalvo

Carter CasaDeCalvo

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