Narrowing Down Colleges

So now that you’ve got the list, it’s time to shorten it a bit. So grab a nice snack, make yourself comfortable, and get ready to make some big decisions.

I remember sitting down and pulling out the list I had made and being shook. Let me tell you, that list had 42 colleges on it, colleges scattered across the country, and there was a little bit of everything in there. Sizes ranged from 800 students to 42,000, and campus cultures were all so distinctly different that the overlaps between my choices were few and far between. So I knew I had quite a job in front of me, and if you’re at the point I was at that day, then let me tell you how we can work through it together.

The first thing I did was put that list aside and think about where I’d realistically be able to visit colleges. That led me to split up the list I had made in colleges I knew I would visit and those I knew I would never unless I enrolled. Then I grabbed the list of colleges I wouldn’t visit and went through each college on it online, doing online tours and looking up it’s stats, using that to determine if it was even worth keeping it on the list if I wouldn’t visit. That was a great way to start because it really narrows down the list to a reasonable size.

Then, I grabbed the list of colleges I would be able to visit if I wanted, and started to get more information on them, mostly to see how high my interest realistically was and if I was feeling a little more productive that day, perhaps actually plan the visit. After this was done, I had shrunk my list to about a fourth of the original, and when I looked at it it felt like it was finally manageable. Of course, this process took a long time, and it was tough to sit there and go through all the steps, but in the end it was all worth it because looking at a list of 15 colleges was way easier than a list of 42.

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