Tips for Navigating Your College Decision

Hello! I am Sam Clark, a junior majoring in Psychology and double minoring in music and Native American and Indigenous Studies. 

We are coming into the home stretch of college decisions! Depending on where you are in your college decision process, that sentence probably gave you butterflies, made you sweat, or a little of both. The college decision process is daunting and can make people feel any number of ways. Hopefully, through reading this blog post, you can get some tips for navigating the process and know that you are not going through this alone. 

There were 5 main tips that I was told throughout the college decision process that I found very helpful. 


  • Not everyone has a gut feeling or “aha” moment

Throughout my college process, I expected to have an “aha” moment and know deep inside which college was the right one for me. When that didn’t happen, I got nervous that I had not found the right place for me. One of my teachers listened to me tell her this and said to me that not everyone has that moment, but that doesn’t mean your decision is incorrect. Instead, sometimes that moment happens farther into your college career. I had this moment in my junior year while I was part of a student-run theater production. I remember thinking, “This is what I wanted in my college experience, and I am so happy to be here.” Long story short, being a little unsure when you make your decision is okay, especially because so much of your college experience is about what activities you do and who you are with. 

  • It will be you attending this college. No one else 

At my high school, people were very competitive, especially about college and where everyone was going. It can be hard when it feels like people will judge you for your decision or be disappointed in your decision. It will be challenging, but remember that you will be heading there in the fall, so you want it to be a place you are excited about! 

  • Talk it out!

Making this decision on your own can be intimidating. It was beneficial for me to talk about it with my older sibling, parents, and other adults I trust. While ultimately, it is up to you to decide, talking it out with others can help organize your thoughts and feelings. If you don’t want to talk with people, you can also write in a journal about it to get some of your feelings out.  

  • There is no “bad” reason to pick a college.

There are a lot of different factors in life that go into making a college decision. Any of these things is an excellent reason to decide whether a place is right for you. Whether it be being closer to home, farther away from home, the financial aid offered, possible majors, possible sports, possible activities, or a specific club. All these things are fair to use to decide, and it doesn’t mean that the choice is any less yours when you are making it. 

  • Once you make your decision, take a breath.

Once you decide on a college, give yourself time to relax and recover. This is a long and strenuous process; you deserve to relax and feel excited about this next step!  

The biggest thing to remember is that you are making this decision for yourself and will attend wherever you pick. I hope these tips will help you as we head into decision day and, at the very least, help you know that everyone else is going through the same thing and you are not alone in the toughness of this decision. Lastly, best of luck to everyone making their college decisions! I hope you all find the perfect fit for you, and good luck finishing up your senior year and your first year! 

If you find yourself having any last-minute questions, please feel free to reach out to me at my email: [email protected]