by Amanda Yen – Student Writer
College is both school and home, so it’s really important to find a place you really vibe with.
Here are a few things to think about as you start compiling your college list.
Think beyond academics. You’ll have a lot more free time in college, so pay attention to the programs, clubs, and extracurriculars a school offers. Is there a lot of club participation? What about Greek life? Activities are great ways to build skills, meet people and have fun. Look at the ways you can get involved on campus, and see what makes each school unique. Niche and CampusReel (linked through College Planner Pro) both have tons of student reviews and comments about their colleges.
The people make all the difference. See what students have to say about their schools, because they’ll have the most honest and accurate opinions. Is it a competitive environment? Are people stressed out? It’s also important to ask about what students usually do for fun. What does a typical weekend look like? If you can, get in touch with a current student and see how they describe their peers.
Ask yourself if you can really live there. Little things like housing style, quality of food, gym access, and the weather can make a big difference in how happy you are at school. The architecture of the school also plays a part in its vibe –– is it classic brick and ivy or modern glass and metal? Check out what the dorms and study spaces look like, since you’ll be spending a lot of time there.