Whether you have just graduated high-school, or a graduate looking for the right degree, enrolling in college needs a little more work than deciding on what you want to study. Universities are diverse and they can be drastically different in terms of teaching methods, financial aid, the general environment as well as the kind of students that you’re likely to see there. So before you decide to apply for that college degree, you might want to take a look at everything you need to know before you make your final decision.
Explore All Majors
There are plenty of students who choose majors on a whim without thoroughly checking out the kind of classes they’re expected to attend. Even if you’re absolutely sure of what you want to study, you’d be surprised by the long and diverse list of majors that your college offers. There are probably fields that you’ve never heard of, and others that you have always been interested in but never quite thought about studying.
Exploring different majors should always be done as early as possible. If you’re still a student, you’ll want to introduce yourself to them before you make it to senior year. On the other hand, older adults may also want to take their time choosing before they begin the semester.
Visit the College First
If you have only seen pictures and you’re anticipating the experience based on feedback from students, or based on how interesting your major is, you might regret your decision later. It’s always advised to visit the campus in order to familiarize yourself with the kind of students that attend and to take a look at the dorm rooms if you’re planning to stay there.
That said, you’ll likely want to visit the colleges that you’re more likely to apply to, especially those that offer free applications. If you’re unsure where to find a university with no application fee, you can take a look at this complete run down of the highest-rated colleges in the U.S that do not charge students to apply. When you’ve decided that you’re comfortable with the social scene, the dorms, the classrooms, and the kind of professors that the college hires, you can then make your final decision.
Learn about Dorm Life
Although it might not be on top of your head when you’re thinking of moving to your college, dorm life isn’t exactly stress-free, and it may add to the stress of your studies depending on the size of your room and the privacy you have. You don’t always get to choose your roommate, so it’s possible to be stuck with someone you don’t get along with. On the other hand, there are questionnaires that help students see if they’re a match with one another, so you may want to look into that if you’re compelled to choose someone randomly early on.
On the other hand, dorm life can be quite entertaining. Even though, admittedly, dorm parties are not as fun as they seem in the movies, nor do they happen as frequently, they do have their charm. Just be careful not to get too caught up in the social world of college life to the point that you fall back on your studies. Dorm life can be quite distracting, and that’s something that you need to be prepared for before you begin your first semester.
Practice Essay Writing
If you don’t already know how to personalize your essays, you might want to start practicing. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to use every single synonym in your thesaurus dictionary in your essay to impress the admission officers. While technical writing skills do matter to an extent, it’s mostly personality, experience, and eloquence that make an essay stand out.
Make sure you think about your topic and do your research before you start writing. It may help to also get feedback from your friends or family before you decide to send it in. Ideally, you should be practicing your essay writing skills starting from junior year. If you have already graduated years ago, this may be challenging if you have been out of touch with your writing skills for long. You’ll want to read examples online before you start working on your own piece.
It’s never too late to enrol in college, but it’s also never too early to thoroughly research and find the major that you want to study, as well as the right college that can provide you with the experience that you’re looking for. If you’re still a school student and you’re unsure how to go about the process, it’s best to seek admission guidance from your teachers or through professional counsellors.