Reflecting on What is Important to Me-Macaela Bennett

By Macaela Bennett on September 07, 2013
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In one year, I will be living in a city with a population 168 times bigger, sharing a room with someone I haven’t yet met, and embarking on the path that determines my career for the rest of my life. This drastic type of change is what makes preparing for the transition after high school exciting, stressful and important.

While many high school graduates choose to attend college, there are other great options such as the military or an internship. Personally, I love learning so I chose college, but it is important that you base your decision on what will make you feel fulfilled, not what anyone else expects of you.

While I am excited for my future, deciding which college to attend is work. There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States alone.

With that many options, it is imperative to determine what is important to you in your college search. For students who think that deciding what’s important requires more work than applying to 40 colleges, I am here to assure you that no matter how many colleges advertise their applications as “Fast and Simple!” they still take a lot of time, especially if you apply for additional scholarships, honors colleges, sororities/fraternities, special dormitories or study abroad opportunities.

You don’t want to waste your weekends senior year applying to unnecessary colleges.

Kinda like dating

Picking a college is similar to choosing someone to date: just as you discern what characteristics you desire in a mate, and which traits you absolutely can’t stand, you need to do the same for colleges.

The primary factor that influenced my decision was my religious beliefs. This impelled me to be attracted to private, Christian institutions with many service opportunities.

While it depends on your religious views, if not taken into account, this factor can cause many problems for students.

My other priorities

Second, my decision was based on money. While I don’t like to consider money as extremely important, I had to consider it while choosing a college. My family cannot afford to pay for my college education, so I am attending college almost completely on grants and scholarships.

Trust me, even if your family can’t help you financially, don’t be discouraged because there are many ways for you to receive financial help. Even if your family is supporting you in your college education, applying for scholarships is still extremely important.

Third, I looked for colleges that have a strong program for my intended major. Every college has different academic strengths. While you may like a college for other reasons, you need to research its academic opportunities before you apply. Even if you are “undecided,” look for schools that have a lot of majors pertaining to your interests.

Amid all the advice I have for you, the most important thing is, “Do not settle on your college choice.” College is the beginning of your adult career; where you begin influences where you end. If a certain college makes you excited about your future, don’t allow any obstacles to deter you from trying to go there.

A motto that prevented me from compromising on my college decision is: “Don’t wait for your dreams to come true; go make your dreams come true.” Determine what is important to you, use those guidelines to make your decisions and don’t give up on your dreams, because no one and nothing can take them away, unless YOU allow them to.

About the Author

Macaela Bennett

Macaela Bennett

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