College Confusion!

<p>Hi! So, I hoping that someone might have some advice and be able to help me with the questions that I have because I am very confused! OK so here it goes...
I have always loved biology and have known that I want to pursue a career in it. I have decided in the past few years that I want to do conservation biology, so naturally I have been trying to look at schools that have good biology and preferably conservation or ecology programs. I visited many schools and decided that I wanted to go to a small (2,000-3,000 students) undergrad only college. My top choice at that point was probably Wellesley. Then this summer, my whole college search completely changed. I attended Columbia University for a science invitational and went to a session with their Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology(E3B) department and absolutely LOVED it. I really liked the campus and all the oppurtunites available in NYC as well. In that same trip I went to Wellesley as well and was...underwhelmed. It was nice, but there was still that little voice in my head that whispered "Columbia." Wellesley also did not have a department similar to E3B other than standard bio I believe. So this is where my confusion comes in. Should I apply early desicion to Columbia because I loved the program there, even though that kind of school isn't what I orginally wanted? Or should I apply to several schools, like Wellesley and Columbia and some that have departments like Columbia's E3B (UChicago comes to mind). Does anyone with any experience with these schools or this kind of major/department have any suggestions? Thanks for taking the time to help me!</p>

<p>How about applying to Barnard? Barnard would provide all the opportunities of NYC, the same (extended) campus, and access to the same classes ... but in a small women's college like Wellesley. If you like, apply to BOTH Barnard and Columbia.</p>

<p>Chicago has a major in "Biological Sciences with Specialization in Ecology and Evolution". If you like Columbia (urban campus, "Core" curriculum) then you might like Chicago too. U of C has average class sizes almost as small as a typical LAC's.</p>

<p>You'll need to add some match and safety schools, though.</p>

<p>People change. The college you had in your head as perfect a year or so ago, may not be right for you right now. Or some schools sound perfect on paper but when you visit you find that they are not what you want. Those are all normal parts of the college search process. If you love Columbia, love NYC, why not apply ED? I do agree that Barnard is a good option if you want that smaller all-female environment but you'd need to check that the same programs you loved at Columbia would be available to you at Barnard.</p>

<p>And while it definitely not in NYC, maybe google Cornell which has a School of Human Ecology.</p>

<p>Thank you for the great advice! I have looked at Barnard (that's actually why I planned to NYC in the first place and the science invitational was a convenient time for me) and decided that that wasn't for me--the entire time I was there, I felt like I wanted to be across Broadway at Columbia. So that being said, does anyone have any experience on what Columbia undergrad is like? In deciding that I liked Columbia even though it didn't fit my "college mold," one of my biggest concerns is that there is not enough attention on undergrads because there are also grad students. </p>

<p>I will also research Cornell now too! Thank you so much!</p>