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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
ally-xo Offline
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Deciding on a college? - May 8th 2012, 07:04 AM

I am having an extremely hard time deciding what college to go to. I guess first a little background info to start:
I currently live in a city where none of my family is except who I live with - my dad, aunt and uncle. I have issues where I live because I've had a lot of problems with my aunt and my dad not getting along with me and I've been kicked out twice. I'm 18 years old and have mild anxiety, graduated highschool in 2011. I didn't know what I wanted to go to college for so I took a year off. I've been with my boyfriend for about a year now and he's my absolute best friend.

My options are:
Go to a college an hour and a half away.
Go to a college in my city.
Or wait to go to a college where the program doesn't start until January.
Here are my issues.
The college far away - I would go here for sure the only thing stopping me is my fear of moving away from my boyfriend and all of my friends. The rest of my family lives near this college so I would see them more often but I would be alone most of the time except weekends if I could go back and forth to see my boyfriend and friends. However it gives me an excuse to move out of my house.
The college in my city - I don't feel like this school is really a good school but it's the most convenient. But if I go here I'm kind of trapped in my house.
The college that doesn't start til January - A really good school, still close enough to my house that I wouldn't have to move out, but I don't want to wait to start college anymore. I already regret taking that year off, so waiting until January would make me feel so far behind.

I really don't know what to do. I'm afraid my anxiety is stopping me from making the best decision. Sorry for the super long post. Any advice would be appreciated, I've been thinking this over and over in my head for about two weeks now.
   
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Re: Deciding on a college? - May 8th 2012, 02:06 PM

Hey there!

Hm... a couple of thoughts- bottom line, if you don't feel like it's a good school then don't go there. That rules out the college in your city. Going to college an hour and a half away from your home sounds tough but do-able. If you think you can do it and want to, go for it. There is always the option of a longer distance relationship and making new friends at college. Moving away from home can be liberating too. For the final option of the school that starts in January, I would say that if it is a really good school and you can be close to friends and family (assuming those are good things ), then that is also a good option. I find it irrelevant that you are "behind" as there is no one to really keep up with except yourself. There are plenty of people that have been going to college and are going to college that consist of varying age groups and finish their degrees at varying times anyways. The important thing is just that you are going.

So my vote is for either option one or three. Three seems to be the best if you discount the hesitation of starting later rather than sooner, but that's just me. I would suggest weighing the pros and cons out in your own mind and you can determine which will be best overall.

Good luck and have a great day,
Alex



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Re: Deciding on a college? - May 8th 2012, 07:10 PM

Basically what Alex said You're going to college for you so if you don't like the school or don't want to be "trapped" somewhere you don't like then I would rule that school out. Going away to school can be hard because you are leaving your friends and/or boyfriend behind and long distance relationships are difficult, but they can work. If you really want to go to a school go for it. Your friendships and relationships will change no matter where you go. Leaving people doesn't mean that you lose them, it just means that the relationships change.

If not starting until January is the only reason you don't want to go to the school ( as in still living at home isn't an issue for you) there's nothing to be worried about. You aren't "behind" you just made a choice that's different than the average person and based on what is right for you. There are some people who go back to school in mid-late adulthood and there's nothing wrong with that. As Alex said, it's the fact that you go, not when that really matters.


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Re: Deciding on a college? - May 8th 2012, 11:37 PM

When selecting a college, look into the options available to you. Which of the three offers the best program for you? This is so important. If you don't enjoy what you're studying, you'll likely not enjoy your college experience. Furthermore, do you want to have the experience of living away from home for college? Many students have this desire and if you do, I'd say go for the college that is further away so that you can have that experience. Living on your own is a phenomenal experience. It gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and enables you to develop vital life skills that will undoubtedly aid you in the future.

Don't worry so much about your boyfriend because 1) 1.5 hours is not a long time 2) You can certainly visit 3) There are so many ways to keep in touch nowadays 4) You're there for school, anyway. Point is, you need to think about it and list off factors that are important to YOU. Obviously, your program should be something to consider. If they're all very similar, then move to other factors (i.e., cost, campus, school atmosphere, clubs, course availability, reputation, etc.) There are so many factors to consider when selecting a college - none of which are "staples". Focus on factors that are important to YOU.

If you find that the college that starts in January is the best fit for you, don't allow the start date to turn you off. You said it yourself - you've taken a year off. What's the difference if you add a few months to that? In the long run, it won't make a difference at all. Trust me. Don't rush into one of your choices that allow you to start in September JUST because they allow you to start earlier.


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Re: Deciding on a college? - May 10th 2012, 07:58 AM

Thank you all! I wanted to let you know that I decided to go to the one thats far away. I looked into it more and it seems to have the most interesting courses for the program I'm doing so I'm super excited thank you for your help!
   
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Re: Deciding on a college? - May 10th 2012, 02:05 PM

I'm in the same boat, but a few months back I narrowed it down to 3-4 and 1 of them covered all the subjects i wanted to study, so i'll be going to Open Days in June to check the places out and see what suits me best.

Good luck!

Michy


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So darkness I became.


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Re: Deciding on a college? - May 10th 2012, 03:01 PM

Just a heads up, I was really in the same boat as you, at first it may seem a bit daunting and lonely since you won't know anyone. If you're an extrovert then you don't need any of this info because you'll be fine lol, but if you're shy like me, it is REALLY important to try and get involved in some things so you're not alone throughout the week. Plus you'll make new friendships and have people to study with! My boyfriend and I go to schools two hours away from each other, and only see each other on the weekends (and during the summer). In the beginning it was REALLY tough, it was weird to feel so distant and we went through a rough time adjusting and weren't sure if we could do it. Four years later we're still together and in love and it just took some major adjusting to being away from each other for those periods of time but it's absolutely doable!
   
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