Going to university or college is a rite of passage for many students as it is the first opportunity they get to leave home and experience the wider world away from their parents. It can be an incredibly daunting yet exciting experience simultaneously, as there are countless opportunities to meet new friends and engage in fun new activities. However, it is crucial not to lose sight of the main reason that you are going to college, and that is to study. 

If you want to give yourself a good chance of kick-starting your career and getting into the industry you’ve always dreamed of, you need to work hard to achieve your ambitions. In light of this, we will take a look at some of the common mistakes students make when choosing a college so that you are in the best position to find the right college to further your academic ambitions, so read on to find out more. 

Going where your friends are going

There is nothing worse than choosing a college based purely on where your friends are going, as this is a disaster waiting to happen. They will have selected the college because they are interested in a particular course, whereas you will be going just to tag along, and soon you will likely be dropped from their new circle. Make sure you choose a college with your academic ambitions in mind. 

You do not need to be worried that you will never see your high school friends again. Of course, you will, and in any case, you will meet countless new people at your chosen college that the chances are you will forget about your old friends within weeks anyway. Know what you want to study and then find a college that offers this course, you will be much better off in the long run.

Picking a college on reputation

Everyone dreams of going to an Ivy League university or another such prestigious college. Still, you have to ask yourself whether those institutions are right for you and whether they can offer the type of courses you are looking for. There is no point going somewhere where you might struggle academically or where you might not fit in. Experts at Authority.org can provide lists of colleges, ranking them in order of their academic prowess or their value for money. These rankings can give you an invaluable insight into what there is to offer out there, beyond those schools that you have thought about purely based on name or reputation. Doing your research properly is key to finding the best possible college for you. 

Paying too much

The price of earning a college degree greatly varies, so it is important to understand whether you can afford to do your chosen degree. There is no point getting into many thousands of dollars of debt if you are going to end up with a degree that will only command a low salary. You may well be paying off your debt well into your thirties, and that is no fun at all. 

Conversely, if you want to be a medical doctor, you have no choice but to go to medical school, which is extremely expensive. However, this is mitigated by the fact that doctors earn very high salaries, so they will be able to pay their debt off quickly. Make sure you analyze the cost of tuition fees and your likely future salary, as this will leave you best placed to make a sensible economic decision about your future. 

student who have selected a college

Going where your parents want you to go

Many of us have pushy parents, or at least we know someone who has, and it can be tough trying to convince them to change their minds about their intentions for you. They may well have had their heart set on you going to a certain college, yet you have absolutely no interest in going there. In this situation, it is important to be rational and have a calm conversation with them about why you do not want to go there. It is vital that you present them with your well thought out choices of where you want to go. You will have to sell it to them, but done in the right way, you can achieve what is best for you.

As we have learned, it is important to make your own decision about where to go to college and not to follow your friends or your parent’s choices. Make sure you can afford the fees as you could potentially be paying off debt for years, and don’t just pick a college based on reputation. Pick one because it offers the very best course for you and your future academic career.