Darryl Jones is in his 27th year at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Mr. Jones is currently Senior Associate Director of Admissions, Coordinator for Multicultural Admission and Intercollegiate Athletics Liaison.
When choosing a place to spend the next four years after high school, the choices can be daunting…small, medium, or large? Near home or far away? Rural, suburban, or urban campus? Those choices, and more, plus the combinations in which they come, often cause stress which is exacerbated by the fact that parents always have their preferences, which may not exactly match those of their sons and daughters.
How do you know what is right? The simple answer is not scientific, but instead, rather simple: Do you like the way you feel when you visit, and after the visit do you want to return? When you visited, did you spend time away from students and staff who were chosen because of their ability to speak highly of the experience of attending “College X” to see if that feeling is prevalent throughout the institution? Do you know you will love the place you have chosen for life?
Rankings do not measure your personal comfort level…so remember that! If you were choosing to make a four-year real-estate purchase, you would care about safety, amenities that are readily available or within a manageable distance, and comfort, and there is no harm in choosing a college or university the same way. You will excel personally and intellectually if you are happy, so if a place is ranked attractively, has great features and benefits, is well-respected by your peers, but YOU don’t like it when you are there, then that place should be removed from your list.
Trust your instincts and pay attention to your “inner voice”—you will never go wrong!
Best of luck!