1. Rushing the process
Finding the right college takes time and effort, not to mention research and an often lengthy application process. Waiting until the last minute or just “falling into a college” is never a good idea. It takes the most important factor out of the equation—you.
2. Being a follower
Following a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend to the college of their choice may seem like a good idea at the time because you want to be near them, but this is one of the most pivotal points in your life, too. You need to remember to make the best decisions for yourself and, if your relationships are strong, they will outlast time and distance anyway.
3. The legacy lure
We’re aware the commandment states “Honor thy father and mother.” However, only considering colleges your parents, siblings or other family members went to in order to follow in their footsteps may not be in your best interest. It’s always better to explore your options and find the right fit for your personality.
In contrast, only considering colleges your parents DON’T want you to go isn’t beneficial either. Sometimes, they have some good insight that may help you decide on what may be best for you. Don’t choose—or not choose—a college out of spite. This is sure to lead you down a path of regret. Choose a college based on what you want, not based on what someone else doesn’t.
5. You’re a die-hard fan
We’ve all got our favorite teams, but let’s remember that just because they have a great sports team does not mean it’s the right educational fit for you. After all, you’re there to learn, not cheer them on. You can be a fan anywhere, but you can’t learn everywhere.
6. The temptation to party
So, it’s a great party school but is it a great learning environment? While you may be itching to get out on your own and party like a rock star, that’s really not what college is about. Remember, when choosing a college that you want to choose somewhere what you can have a healthy social atmosphere but a setting that’s conducive to the real goal at hand—learning.
7. How a student body looks
You’ve heard the student body is attractive. So what? Maybe you like this, maybe you’re worried you won’t fit in, either way, you should ignore these stereotypes because they probably are just that. Also, the attractiveness of a student body shouldn’t really make a difference in your decision on where to get an education.
8. Assuming the worst
Not applying to certain schools because you assume you won’t be accepted underrates your potential and potentially limits your future. Come on, you guys, we have reach schools for a reason. You never know what you can achieve if you don’t try, so at least make an attempt.
9. Location, location, location
Whether you’re a homebody who wants to stay close or an escape artist who wants to get as far from home as possible, the location should be a factor in choosing a college, not the sole decision maker.
10. Cost obsessions or carelessness
Forgetting to consider the cost or only considering the cost as a factor are two major issues to avoid. While cost is a huge hurdle, there are many other factors to consider as well and students should not be blinded by this one aspect. Reversely, students who are applying for financial aid or whose parents are paying for college should not neglect to think about cost completely, as costs can add up quite quickly.