06 Apr Your Ideal College is Just Around the Corner
Tamanna shares practical insights on how to go about making some important college admission decisions.
College-hunting is a daunting task. Multiple courses, multiple locations, multiple extracurriculars- the options are endless. This boundless world may be overwhelming at first. But fear not, don’t let the excess of options bog you down. Don’t let the big names intimidate you either! There are so many more colleges and courses than you see at surface level. The best part about having so many options is that there’s an ocean of opportunity to choose your ideal college/university from. If looking for a college sounds scary in itself, then break down what you want your ideal college to be instead and you will be more effective in finding one that fits all your needs. You could break it down into as many or as little categories as you want.
Personally, other than the course itself, the location of the university and research done in it were two of my prime concerns. I wanted a college that was in a region with good weather (or at least better than the Delhi heat I was used to!) as well as in a place that I could easily travel around from. One of my non-academic goals from my college life is to travel as far and as much as I can, so this played a role in me ultimately choosing a university in Europe. I was also keen on colleges with a swimming team or swimming facilities as I used to swim competitively in school. Other than swimming, from an extra-curricular perspective, I would have liked colleges that held or participated in conferences such as Model United Nations (MUNs). Extra-curriculars play a very critical role in distinguishing you from other students following the same subjects or the same course. They are, in a way, reflective of your interests outside of academia and you should look into some extracurriculars that you would like to engage in. Not only do they make you look well-rounded as an individual but you also end up with a diverse pool of great friends! The best part about a lot of US colleges is the variety of extra-curricular activities and clubs they offer. Explore as many possibilities as you can! It can be really exciting trying to find possible clubs and courses to minor in. You might even stumble across something you didn’t know you found interesting! Hello, Marine Biology 101!
This was also the order of priority I gave these categories. Hence, the location of the college mattered more than how much they participated in MUNs. For someone else, this priority list might be inverted, or something else entirely! That’s the beauty of this finding a college like this. A broken-down category list like this helps you in both prioritising what you want out of your ideal college as well as make the never-ending list of colleges significantly shorter.
Coming back to the choosing course itself, there is no hard and fast rule with choosing a major (unless of course, you’re like me and chose to sacrifice your life to the god of medicine :)!! I will elaborate on dealing with medicine as a college course and career choice in a future post). As easily as you apply for a specific course, you can also apply Undeclared if you really have no idea what you want to do or are confused or just unstimulated by any of the options you currently have. Once you’re in college itself you’ll realise what courses you truly like and which you don’t. This will be a better indicator of which course you want to Major in! Going in for a specific course is equally as exciting as you’ll be studying what interests and excites you and trust me there is nothing as fulfilling as studying what you love.
College hunting is an exciting, scary and sometimes confusing time. But it is also an opportunity for growth and experience; one of your final experiences in school life. Don’t feel burdened by it, it’s a deeply fulfilling and fun process to go through. In fact, it gets you more pumped for finally attending college! And lastly, don’t let the ‘seriousness’ of the situation get to you; you never know when you might just stumble into a great university and fall in love with it, just like I did.
Tamanna is attending the MBBS/MD/MUDr. program at Charles University in Prague. To connect with Tamanna, click here.