College Confidential’s “Dean,” Sally Rubenstone, put together 25 of her best tips. Get your free copy of the "25 Tips from the Dean" eBook and get helpful advice on how to choose a college, get in, and pay for it: http://goo.gl/9zDJTM
Anyone else have the experience of thinking maybe they didn't make the right college choice after a significant amount of time has passed?
Basically, I my choice came down to two school-Concordia-Moorhead and St. Olaf. St. Olaf was always my first choice, as I'd pretty much been born and bred to go there (Mom, grandma, great-aunt and uncle attended, great-uncle taught philosophy there, high school band director, orchestra director and clarinet teacher attended, clarinet teacher was also teaching there at the time).
I visited Concordia and enjoyed it, and almost made the decision to go there. I liked the clarinet teacher, the professors I met, and I had a great overnight visit. They offered me more scholarship money (music and academic), plus it was about $10,000 a year cheaper than St. Olaf. But I visited St. Olaf again, and it had "the feeling" that people talked about in college searches. I was awarded a music scholarship and a service scholarship, but not as much in total as Concordia.
In retrospect I wonder why I didn't take more time to consider my options. Pretty much as soon as I was awarded the music scholarship from St. Olaf, I sent in my deposit. I didn't really consider how much more I'd be paying in student loans in the future by going, or how much harder I'd be working with less time to relax and try different activities.
Plus, I went in to college with music one of my top priorities, which is why St. Olaf won out. But now I've stepped back from music, and while I still participate, it's less of a priority. I'd like to try some new things, but I don't really have time because I spend so much more time studying (which I know is the main point of college, but still).
I also think I had a pretty romanticized view of St. Olaf, as I was there so much over the years growing up. I went in with a lot of expectations that weren't necessarily met. Their vision has changed so much, and now their goal seems to be competing more with the Ivy League, east coast schools instead of maintaing their identity as a solid, Lutheran school.
I wonder if I chose the school only for me, or if I was also afraid of disappointing people like my mom, my clarinet teacher, and my great-aunt and uncle. The clarinet teacher at Olaf is different now as well, and I honestly don't care for him. I really liked the teacher at Concordia, and would have enjoyed working with him.
I don't know what kind of advice I'm even looking for. Chances of transferring are pretty slim, as I probably wouldn't be eligible for any scholarships now (music scholarships are only for first years, and my college GPA is low enough that I probably wouldn't be eligible for any transfer academic scholarships.) I guess it would just be nice to know that I'm not the only one who's ever wondered if they made the right choice.