I recently purchased a new vehicle, but it wasn’t an easy process. I actually started researching possible models and taking test drives back in October. For three months, I contemplated which one would be right for me and how much I would be willing to pay for a new car. By the time the holidays passed, I still hadn’t made my decision, so I tabled it for a few months. In early April, I pulled out my brochures and notes, carefully reviewing my thoughts about what I liked and disliked, and headed back out to retest my top five contenders. Three weeks later, I drove off the lot with my new car. For a few days, I was excited about my new toy, but I soon started to second-guess my decision.
In a way, choosing a college is a lot like buying a new car. You spend countless hours researching potential schools, scouring through brochures that tease you with images of smiling students and picturesque campuses. You take campus tours with guides who bubble with excitement over the new buildings and exclaim how happy everyone is at the college. Even after you have weigh the cost of each college, it’s sometimes hard to not rationalize why spending more money will make you happier or provide a better return on your investment. Then, May 1 rolls around and you have to decide on something, so you do. A week later, you’re probably wondering if it was the right decision.
The good news is that you are not alone. Buyer’s remorse is a natural reaction whenever it involves a serious investment, but if you are still second-guessing your choice, ask yourself the following:
If you took the time to research your options, and weighed all the pros and cons of each, you should feel confident that your choice was made through an exhaustive process and not the flip of a coin. There must have been certain factors that put the college at the top of your list, so review the reasons why you liked the college, as this will help reinforce your decision.
If your college is suddenly plastered all over the Internet and television because of a scandal that violates your moral code or ethical beliefs, you may have reason to second-guess your decision. If, however, nothing has changed and you have not made any life-altering changes in your future goals, you should feel confident that the decision you made was right for you.
If you are still feeling a little uneasy about your choice, or wondering if some other school might have been a better fit, relax. It’s human nature to think the grass is greener on the other side, but in my experience, it rarely is greener. The only way to move on and be happy with your decision is to just do it. Stop looking at what other colleges can offer or what other students are saying about their choices. Instead, focus on the things that you are looking forward to experiencing at your college; start making a bucket list and connecting with other students who are attending your school, as these activities will get you excited about the fall. Embracing the positive aspects of your decision will reinforce why you chose your school and you’ll soon let go of those nagging little voices that caused you to second-guess yourself in the first place. Now, go out and pick up a few college t-shirts and logo-embossed items, so you can proudly announce to the world where you are headed this fall. You’ve earned it, so be sure to enjoy it!
How did you make your final decision for college? We would love to know. Share it with us on Twitter or in the comment section!
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