What School Is Right For Me?
Hello everyone! I hope the past few weeks have been as enjoyable for everyone as they have been for me; the sun has started to shine in Hanover and it's beginning to feel like spring. I also know that this is a time of stress for a lot of people reading this, as it's college decision season. This post is for you! Regardless of where you may or may not have been accepted, I first want to congratulate you all; the hard part is over and you should be proud of yourself no matter what. I know a lot of stress can come with this tough decision, so I thought I'd share my college decision story and what it taught me, I hope it'll help you all out?
I applied to 23 different colleges, and by April I was faced with a tough decision to choose between multiple different schools. I was terrified. I knew that any school I chose would have great academic programs and a lot of professional/extracurricular opportunities, but I was most worried about assessing the "vibe" of a school. I'd be spending four years of my life there, I want to make sure I like what it feels like to be a student.
When I had filled out my applications, my parents had told me that I could visit the campus of any school I was accepted into and seriously considered for admitted student programming. However, I was a senior in high school during the spring of 2020, and suddenly everything shut down. Instead of in-person programs, I had awkward Zoom calls, GroupMe messages, and videos. Nothing was what I expected. Through this programming, I found it hard to figure out what any school's atmosphere would be like to experience. Everything felt stiff and superficial.
The exception to this happened to be Dartmouth. I joined a Zoom call for admitted students and was sung to by students in tutus, I had meaningful FaceTime calls with current students that I'm friends with today. I felt welcomed, supported, and got a sense of what the campus vibe was like, even though it was a remote experience. This is what sold me to come to Dartmouth, and it has held to be true every day since my commitment. I listened to the voice in the back of my head, trusted my gut instinct, and it worked out perfectly.
The bottom line that I'm trying to give is that you should trust yourself. Don't worry about specific programs, arbitrary requirements, and small details of a school that may stress you out. At the end of the day, many schools are very similar. When it comes to the gut feeling about a place and its vibe, that detail is going to make a good school even better, creating the best possible experience. This post isn't my way of trying to convince you all to come to Dartmouth. I love our atmosphere and vibe, but it may be horribly annoying and awful to you. Everyone has at least one school that will feel right, probably multiple. Please try to stress as little as possible (easier said than done of course) and know that it will work out in the end. Good luck to you all!