My process of choosing a college was pretty simple compared to what many students endure today. Here it is in a nutshell:
- Choose a state school (we didn’t think a private school was affordable, even with my good test scores and grades).
- Select a school not too far from home (within 2 hours was ideal).
- Do not choose the school where my dad had attended (this was my criteria, not sure that I shared it with my dad) Also, this school was the one that many students from my high school chose to attend each year.
Mr. K, my guidance counselor, must have been on commission from one college that fit these criteria, but it was within commuting distance, and I wasn’t interested. He kept trying to convince me, though!
I found another state school that had an innovation in their elementary education program—field experience for 4 quarters before student teaching!! That sold me. The idea of being in the classroom early in my college career really appealed to me. The school was about 2 hours from home so I applied and was admitted.
I made my selection: The University of Toledo.
At the time it was mainly a commuter campus with a small residential population. The best of both worlds—large campus amenities with the feel of a small campus, especially on weekends! Known at that time more for pharmacy and engineering than education, most of my friends were not education majors. I was from a small town in northwest Ohio, many of the other residential students were from the Cleveland, Ohio, area or the Middle East.
For four years, I lived in the residence halls meeting all kinds of people. I got involved as a desk clerk, housing judicial counsel, and finally as a resident advisor. This is where I made friends that I still have to this day. We experienced the good times and hard times of college life. Many of our fun times were had at free sporting or social events on campus.
These friends have gone on to become nurses, marketing managers, pharmacy directors, guidance counselors, dentists, homeowners, parents and grandparents. All successful in their chosen paths.
My college wasn’t ranked in the top ten. Our football team never won a national championship. But no matter. I’m still loving my college for the foundation it provided for my career and the people I met during my on campus. Trust your choice and enjoy every minute of your journey!