Tips For Finding Your First And Only Undergraduate College - BrainStorm
Skip to main content
The Weather

Finding Your First (And Hopefully Only) Undergraduate College

College campus image - private scholarship displacement article image

By a member of Team BrainStorm

I’ve been to three colleges in five years, so I can tell you this from personal experience: when choosing a school, find one in which you have confidence you’ll stay. Thinking back to when I first started applying to colleges in the fall of senior year, I wish someone had told me that.

I knew from my first day at College #1, sitting in my closet-sized dorm, that I would not be getting my bachelor’s degree there. After two days, I called my parents to tell them, “This isn’t going to work out. You might as well come get me.”

BrainStorm Tutoring Franklin Lakes NJ blog stock photo- test taking tips

They asked me to stay, so I did. Without knowing it, I had committed myself to a university with a faulty English program and a student population that went home every weekend. It wasn’t the experience I wanted, and one afternoon I made the rash decision to pack my things, drop out, move back in with my parents and enroll in a community college. The look in their eyes when I told them at dinner what I did that day was a mix of disappointment and confusion.

College #2 was a community college, and when I first began attending, I was embarrassed to tell people. I grew up in a place where attending a community school came with a disapproving look and a question that went something like, “You couldn’t get into a real college?”

The embarrassment faded quickly. College #2 is where I learned the most and had the most influential teachers. There, I was able to find myself and identify what I wanted to do with my life. College #2 is also where I found College #3.

Today, I’m in College #3 and after four semesters of feeling confident in my choice, I’m graduating.

BrainStorm Tutoring NJ stock photo

My academic journey is nothing unique; I share the same path as thousands of college students. However, YOU, fair reader, can learn from my pain!

  • Start researching colleges early; don’t wait until fall of your senior year.
  • Go to the campus and meet with advisers and teachers. Spend a weekend with a student who dorms and ask people who are already attending how they like the school (both academically and socially).
  • Get an idea of what sort of connections the school has – if you’re looking to study Political Science, does the college offer beneficial internships? If you’d like to experience other parts of the world, does the school have a safe and worthwhile study abroad program?
  • Always know what colleges have to offer after graduation, too. A college that not only gives you the knowledge needed in your field of study but also helps you find employment opportunities within that field after you’ve graduated is a school that is worth the tuition.

Enjoy the end of your high school years, but do invest the proper time in finding a college from which to graduate. Find a college in which you can see a home, a place where your tuition is invested in YOU‐ and your future.

This entry was posted in Brain Food, BrainStorm’s resource center for parents.
To explore further into the world of BrainStorm, choose your location: