April 27, 2012, 7:30AM, the moment I finally made the long awaited college decision. Over two and a half years after my first college visit, 6 months after playing “I Want You to Want Me” while sending in each application, and almost a month after my last letter came through the mail, the process was over! That moment when I finally chose Fordham was one of the best feelings ever! However, the time leading up to it was very, very stressful. For me, it included coming up with little tricks to help. These tricks were a way to help with the process and to choose my school rather than make a decision. Making the decision always added pressure, so instead I thought of the process as finding my school. (I know it's cheesy but it really did work for me!) Here are a few of the tricks I used to help:
1) Build your perfect college
2) Talk to everyone and anyone
3) “Sleep on it”
Build Your Perfect College:
|Campus in the snow|
This "Perfect College" may sound strange and depressing at first because the school doesn’t exist, but believe me, it helps out a lot! It's pretty much a list of everything you would have if you built a college from scratch, but you use your final schools for influence. To make the list, first pick different aspects from your schools and create your ideal college. You can even name it if you want (I called mine “The University of Drew” because my first choice was already taken). Some of the items on the list can be location, campus aesthetics, curriculum, food, sports, gym, distance from home, etc… Now, you rank each item based on its importance to you. For me, campus and location was one of the most important factors for me, and Fordham easily won this, as it has a great, open campus 15 minutes from the center of Manhattan. After ranking and matching each item in the list, you can see which school holds the most weight for you. Although I did not decide solely on this (and would not recommend that) this list definitely helped me see what was important and which college had the most aspects that I wanted in a school. It’s a good way to take a step back from everything college and actually see what you really like about all of the schools.
Talk to Everyone and Anyone:
|My high school's college t-shirt day|
This one may sound tedious, and you may have heard it a bunch of times, but it is actually extremely helpful. By talking to others about the decision, you are able to talk through your thoughts and also hear your ideas out loud. I know for me, hearing something out loud can help a lot. By talking about my process out loud, I was able to hear how lame some of the reasons for liking a college were. Although the small things can carry a lot of weight, some small aspects shouldn’t hold as much weight. However, by talking to people, you will be able to work through everything and receive advice. I know I talked a lot with my parents, college counselors, teachers, and friends, and with most conversations, I came closer to finally choosing Fordham. I also found in my experiences that other people often know where you’re going before you even know. When I first told one of best friends that I chose Fordham, he pretty much said “finally? It was obvious from the start.” That was really good to hear, as it helped to confirm my decision!
Sleep On It:
Although this is just a saying and was only used at first to get my parents off my back about colleges, it was actually one of the most helpful decision makers I used. If your parents are like mine, they're probably constantly asking about updates in your college search. One way to buy some time is to use the classic “I’ll sleep on it” trick. However, after many nights of sleeping on it, I somehow knew I wanted Fordham. On the night of April 26th, I had a dream where I was talking to someone about Fordham and how I would be a freshman there in the fall. The next morning while driving to school and jamming out to “Born to Run,” I started thinking about the weird dream I just had. I noticed that I never actually made a decision, yet I told the person in my dream about my plans for the fall. It may have been the morning tiredness, adrenaline from Bruce Springsteen, or fact that sleeping on it really works, but at that moment I realized I wanted to be member of the Fordham University Class of 2016!
|My sister's graduation|
These are just of few of the tricks I used to help choose Fordham. There are many other ways to help, but if you find another way or make your own definitely use it. With tough decisions, I feel that any help is always for the best.
Ps… I learned later that day that “sleeping on it” is also known as discernment and a legitimate way to help make a tough decision!
April 27th is also my sister’s birthday. She graduated from Fordham in 2011, so naturally, my birthday present was joining the Ram Family!