So you’ve decided on the program that you should take, you’ve narrowed down the University choices by applying to a few schools but now what. How are you supposed to make this decision? Don’t worry, I’m here to help!
1) Make a list of what your ideal school would be
Before you make any big decisions, you’re going to want to have a good starting place so make sure that you take the time to get a clear view for what you want out of your University. As a starting point: Are you looking for a school that allows you to live at home or do you want to move away from home? Are you looking for a school that has an active arts department putting on shows frequently? Do you want to go to a small, medium or large sized university? Try to consolidate all these ideas and make a list (either in your head or on paper) about what the ideal school would have then head on to step 2.
2) Read everything that you can get your hands on
Well I’m sorry to tell you, but now comes the hard work. What do students say about the school? What is the site like? Do they have residences? What are the residences like? What is the city like where this school is located? Get as much information as you can and then compare it all to the list that you made in step 1. Which schools come closest to that ideal school? When you finish this you should have a pretty good understanding of what different schools have to offer.
3) Come for a tour
There is truly no better way to see a campus than by coming in person and walking around. Sure, I can sit here all day and type about Brock’s culture and you’ll understand what it’s like to be a Brock student, but you won’t know how it feels to be a Brock student until you come walk the halls and talk with the people. Seriously, this is non-negotiable (unless you live super far away in which case I’ll make an exception).
4) Take a deep breath. Relax.
5) Think about the extras
When you apply to different schools there will be different “bonuses” given to you these may include scholarships, bursaries, or anything else that is an incentive to go to a specific school. Sometimes this may mean saving some money and living at home, other times this may mean going somewhere completely new to stop living in the shadow of an older sibling, or it may mean the difference between having to take out a loan or being able to afford your education. Whatever the extras may be, think about those now and try to decipher which bonuses are pulling you and to where. If they’re things that you can live without then that makes the decision easier, if they’re not then that may make the decision a little bit harder.
6) Make the decision
You’ve looked at all the options and you’ve gotten all the info so here comes the big finale. For many students, you will get the cliché “ah-ha!” moment when you head to the campus’ of the school that you want to attend. For me, when I got to Brock I felt like I belonged, it felt like a smooth transition and I couldn’t wait to get started with my life here, but if you’re not fortunate to feel that way I have some tips! Try to make a pro-con list, talk to some students and ask them why they chose the University that they’re at and talk it through with your friends and family – you’d be surprised just how intuitive the people that know you best can be! Other than that good luck everyone, and I wish you the best wherever you end up as long as it’s a place where you’ll be happy. If that happens to be Brock then we’d love to see you in the fall.
Good luck everyone!