Nick Parros – Freshman at Rollins College in Winter Park Florida
I can’t believe that it has been all most one year since I made my decision on what college I wanted to attend. I know that many seniors are starting to get their acceptance letters and are now seriously looking at where they want to spend the next four years, or longer. I do want to share some of my thoughts on the process and to reassure them that, if they take a look at the bigger picture. they will always make the best decision for themselves.
First thing that you should have a handle on is to try not to set a limit on the driving radius from your home, whether it’s in miles or hours. I get it sometimes families need the comfort of being close to home. But I am a believer that you need to understand and identify opportunities you may be excluding with this kind of limitation. The time at college is going by fast and I have already booked my flights home for the holidays and I know that before I know it the school year will be over.
For my decision I knew the general subject I wanted to study was business, but I also knew many things about how I functioned as a student. It was important to me to think about the programs offered at each college and evaluate them. I tried not to focus on rankings and to look at each college individually and what they were offering to me. Besides thinking about my major, what opportunities are offered outside of the classroom? Are there internships or co-ops to participate in that will give me the experience that I am looking for, or make me find new things that I had not considered. In the end I did get accepted into many highly ranked colleges but decided not to attend them, although my school is ranked very high in my field I focused on the new opportunities I would find and I feel that this should also be a driving force selecting a college.
When I considered all of the physical features of the colleges I realized that I wanted to be outside all of the months I attended school. This brought me from Michigan to a more southern location. From there I was able to then look at my learning style and evaluate how I would like to interact with my professors and peers. This brought me to the conclusion that I would like a smaller learning environment, one where professors knew my name and I could run into them outside of the classroom. I gave up on having a large football team and focused on the environment and how I would be successful. I refused to miss out on a opportunity just because of closeness to my home.
There are many things to consider in this decision and in the end hopefully you have setting on the best choice for you. It does really help to have a deeper lever of knowledge about the school and to have done your research about the programs inside and outside of the classroom. I was very lucky that I found my college and I am happy with the choice that I made. Good luck seniors and look at the bigger picture when making your decision over the next months.