how to choose a college

If you’ve picked the wrong college, you don’t have to feel like it’s a permanent decision. Four years of school shouldn’t feel like a life sentence. Here are some signs that may indicate the college you are attending isn’t the best pick for you and what to do about it.

Signs You May Have Picked the Wrong College

There are a lot of factors you cannot experience first-hand until you live on campus. The social scene, the life in the residence halls or the parking situation for commuters may all seem fine at first glance, but after spending time on campus, they may turn out to be problematic. If you think it’s the college making you unhappy and not just the transition to college, several indicators could point to a wrong fit. Here are just a few examples:

  • You don’t feel satisfied with the courses you are taking.
  • You don’t participate in any on-campus activities or clubs.
  • You don’t feel motivated to learn or attend classes.
  • Your friends and family members notice something is not right.
  • You feel disappointed in your college experience.
  • You feel depressed when thinking about going back to school.

Most universities have a counseling office with professionals who can talk you through issues involving depression, anxiety or lack of motivation. After discussing your situation with them, you may have insight into whether the issue is with the college or with the new changes to your life.

Identify the Problem

Before you go looking elsewhere, make sure you have a clear grasp of the nature of the problem. It is important to be specific about what is causing your general sense of disappointment when looking for another option for your education. Once you have identified the nature of the problem, you can better work towards resolving it by modifying your experience or looking for something closer to your goals.

Options for Change

It is important to remember that you are never stuck. Transfers may create a few small setbacks, but the college experience you get in exchange is worth it. You don’t necessarily have to wait until the end of the semester to consider other options. As you complete the term, plan to visit friends on other campuses, or see if there is a way to audit classes at another school.

Transfer to Another School

Talk with your advisors to see which credits will transfer to your new school of choice, as credits don’t always transfer cleanly from one school to another. Find out which schools have an easy transfer program to help you with the transition. This process can be time-consuming, and may not work out as smoothly without proper research. If you transfer to a school in another state, be sure to get multiple copies of your entire transcript and files for the future.

When considering a transfer, it is worth simply considering switching campuses. Sometimes a college or university will have another branch somewhere close by with a different feel and different offerings. Transferring within the same university system can make the process less complicated in the long run.

College is a huge investment in your future. As with any investment, you need to make sure it is a good one for you. If you are not satisfied with your experience, now is the time to look at adjusting your journey to get back on the right path.

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