So I have been seeing a lot people on Instagram who are either starting to apply/ look at colleges and what an exciting time that is! For those of you who don’t know, I am a freshman at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. It wasn’t too long ago that I was in y’alls same shoes eager to get out of high school and start my college experience. However, Texas Tech was never where I thought I would end up. Sometimes choosing a college is very hard and sometimes people put a lot of pressure on you to choose the right one so my hope is that writing this, you will feel at ease about finding the university for you!
I have wanted to be an elementary school teacher since I was in elementary school. With that, I wanted to attend the school that had the best education program and since I was a freshman in high school, I found that Texas State had the best program. I immediately became obsessed with the school and decided that I was going to go there. Now if you don’t know me, I can be very stubborn when it comes to certain things and going to Texas State was one of those things I was stubborn about. Our college guidance counselor at my high school encouraged us to go to college fairs and I would immediately go to the Texas State table and maybe two other schools tables that I didn’t even care about. My junior year, my parents decided that we would start touring schools. I looked at Stephen F. Austin University first and then finally, Texas State. My parents and I drove to San Marcus, Texas annnnnnnd I HATED it. I did not get a “oh my gosh this is where I am meant to be” feeling at ALL!! I was heartbroken, my dream school and I hated being there. I remember thinking to myself, now what? that was the only school I had payed attention to and I don’t even know where to go next. I decided to ask around where people were going and of course being from Houston, a lot of people were applying to Texas A&M. I toured A&M and it was okay but still, not the place for me. My boyfriend at the time toured Texas Tech and he told me all about how he loved it. I decided to research it and over Thanksgiving break of my senior year, my family and I traveled up to Lubbock. I previously had reached out to my friend from high school who I knew attended Tech and she was thrilled to show me around campus. After stepping out of my car and standing in the center of campus in front of the Texas Tech seal, I knew that this was where I was meant to be!
So, how do I choose where to go?
This question can be answered different ways depending on who you are but here are some thoughts I have based on my experience.
- Don’t settle on one college, look around and ask your friends/peers where they are going. You might end up hating the school you had your heart set on and thats okay! Having options is the best way to prevent being heartbroken over a school (plus if your dream school decides not to accept you, you have backups!)
- Go on tours, I definitely agree with people that you get a feeling about a school. I am not saying it will be love at first sight for you (it might) but you might go home after a visit and reflect and decide that the school you toured is the best fit for you.
- If you know a friend that is older, a cousin, family member, classmate, whoever that goes to a school your interested in, CALL THEM!! I knew nothing about Tech so when I asked my friend to show me around it changed my whoooooole perspective. Having someone show you around who will tell you the good and bad about the school helps to make you feel more comfortable (I know it did for me). It is also nice because if you decide to go there, you know someone already (#instantfriend) who has survived freshman year because it is TOUGH! (but thats a blog post for another day 🙂 (p.s. my friend who introduced me to Tech also became my big in my sorority, funny how life works sometimes 🙂
- Research the schools that have the best program for your major but also look at how their program is set up. Tech Teach is very hands on and I loved that. I think that hands on classes for education is what benefits future teachers more than just sitting in a lecture about teaching.
- Make a Pros and Cons list. I know this sounds dumb but it is sooooo helpful y’all! I made one about the colleges I applied to and it helped me to reflect and on what was good and what I may not enjoy. I definitely had some cons about Tech (aka its 8 hours away from my home and winters are cooooold) but the pros out weighed the cons.
College is such a fun time but it is also difficult. Finding the college that will help fit your needs and not kill you can be difficult but I have faith in y’all who are starting this process and I hope you find the best college for you just like I did! Good luck!