DeSales High School
Walla Walla, Wash.
As the fun ride of starting my college searches begins, I have to consider so many different things. I immediately knew I had to make a list of priorities for my college search.
At the top of my list: Does the college I am looking at offer the courses I need to take for my career choice? And for me that would be primary education and special education. Luckily for me, that opens up a lot of options. I think this consideration is a significant first step that everyone should put fi rst. You wouldn’t want to pay to go to a college primarily based on looks and surrounding activities, only to find out that they don’t provide you with the classes you need to take.
Swimming program, cost are important, too
After I narrow my college options with the class-based search, I must move on to my next check on the list: Does the college offer what I’m looking for in a swimming program. I think it is important that I feel comfortable in the swimming program if I am going to be competing in it over the next four years. I am looking for a smaller swimming school, and that narrows down my search to a couple of private schools. And since I plan to stay close to home for college, my swimming options are limited even more.
The third factor: Is it a college that will leave me with little or nothing to pay off in loans? Sure, all these topnotch schools look amazing, but I must look at this realistically. Even if I have the grades and all the qualifi cations to get into these schools, I can only get so many scholarships. And with six siblings, I will only get so much help from my parents. I want to go to a good school, but the cost has to fit with what I am willing to pay.
All of this can lead to a stressed-out senior. I know I can feel overwhelmed at times. It has been on and off for me deciding if I should take on swimming in college. That would mean a lot of responsibility, and I would have to manage my time a lot more. But I think in the long run it will all be very good for me.
Parents help keep priorities in mind
I sorted out my priorities in my school search based on what I think is the most logical. I know this is different for many people. Sometimes I want to throw out my list and just go to a college I want to go to primarily based on location or name, but I know that if the college doesn’t fit the check list, I won’t reap a benefit from my choice.
However, I can always find schools that are similar to the ones that don’t fit the criteria. I am blessed with logical parents who help me stay on track and keep reminding me of the priorities. All of this keeps me on the right path on my college search.