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Picking the Right College

Lizz Sawyer on Sunday, 23 November 2014. Posted in Visiting RIT, Athletics, Clubs, Concerts, Coursework, Life After RIT, Residence Life, Student Life

There are so many questions people ask, like "what is the secret to life?" or most likely you are asking yourself, "what am I supposed to do," "how do I know I'll make the right decision?" Well, lucky for you I can help you answer the last two questions...maybe one day I'll figure out the first.

If you're a senior in high school, chances are you have a few schools in mind that you want to apply to. Or if you're a little younger, you're just starting to look. But no matter where in the process you are, you may be feeling overwhelmed.

When I was applying to colleges I tried to pick a range. At the time, I only wanted to go to a D1 football/basketball school, a big school, out of state, and the residence halls were extremely important. But as I applied and visited, I started getting worried. "Is this school going to give me opportunities?" I didn't know if I should pick a school that was more focused on academics or one that focused on student life.

Sometimes being in high school, it's hard to imagine your life after college. Or maybe it's not hard, but you just don't want to (I didn't). For me, I was so ready to leave home and experience the rest of the world. I was a go-getter, but I also liked to have fun. I wanted a school that I could learn from and be inspired by but not get bored with. It was really hard picking out what was most important; for example, which one felt most like a home, which one had a better major or plan, which one was more fun with great students. It really becomes overwhelming! 

So I guess my advice is...a few things. 

1) Don't listen to what your friends do and don't choose because of them. If you're good friends, you'll stay that way no matter where you go.

2) Know that you don't know. Understand the idea that there is an entire world to learn, way more than the major you pick. So pick a place that is going to constantly teach and challenge you, academically and socially. 

3) Maybe don't overthink it like I did. Pick your top few, then go visit them as if you hadn't before and pick the one that simply just feels right.

4) For some big schools it can be hard to rise out of the crowd and be unique or capture the attention of future employees. RIT is a big school but it has colleges within the big school. So your "college" is smaller, then from there your major is even smaller. Best of both worlds. Professors at RIT are here to help you. No matter where you go you have to make an effort, but at RIT it's almost impossible to not make connections with the biggest names or companies by the time you leave.

5) Know yourself and be yourself.

So overall I cannot pick what college is best for you. But I can tell you a little bit about RIT! You get both a vibrant student life and a stimulating academic life here. With the many clubs, majors, and students here - there's no way you'll be bored. It has D1 hockey, which can get way more intense than a basketball game (c'mon they punch each other!) All of our sports are actually great, and give the campus a lot of spirit. No matter where you come from, RIT's campus is its own world, and if you venture off campus, Henrietta has every shop or restaurant you could want. And if you venture out a little more, Rochester has one of the best downtowns there is with many cafés, schools, culture, and more. Oh yeah, and RIT puts on the best concerts (Maroon5, Snoop Dogg, Fun., Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Steve Aoki, and more!

If you're curious about RIT student life, check out our social media team. We have Twitter handles and will start posting our videos soon! Feel free to check out some from last season on YouTube.