Being in the senior most class in a school always gives a different high. The right to lead, discuss and freedom is what each one of the senior grade students loves and relishes. As parents and educators, we may always have a difference of opinion and yet, few of us are experienced enough how to take everything in our stride and keep guiding. Choosing a college for the higher education is nevertheless a daunting task that can sometimes be too stressful for all. As a career coach, my advice is to start early and avoid last minute decisions as it’s a matter of spending 3-4 years in a place that will prepare you for life.
- Research, Research & Research
Duplicate, redundant and incorrect information may be available on various sites that claim of being updated, authentic and reliable. Never take a chance on this and rather than searching, learn how to research about the courses and colleges. The best way is to look for the official website of the universities and entrances offered by them. You may also keep a record of last year brochures, cut offs and tentative list of colleges. An in-depth look into the course structure of degree offered, helps in making the decision.
- To follow or not to follow
Friends, siblings and cousins who already have chosen their career path can be the great mentors provided, you and they share the same aptitude, interest and personality. Similarly, you and your best friend in the same class may or may not land up in the same university inspite of trying your best. So, the key is to keep your goals aligned towards the right fit for you.
- Carrying the Legacy
Parents are the key influencers when it comes to choosing a career, college or course. Their enlightenment about the current scenario may not be up to date though. Be careful of succumbing to the pressure of legacy of profession that has been followed in your family from the centuries. What you need is neither to be a rebel nor to be a blind follower. Analyze yourself deeply and then take a decision. Psychometric Tests are definitely helpful in finding the direction only if you are lucky enough to receive the right interpretation with an experience guidance counselor.
- Big City Brand
My personal preference of sequential steps towards finalising the college list is Course always first. Second preference is the college review about the exposure a student will get in the 3-4 years. Thirdly, the personal traits of the students are important to consider. A small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond- the choice has to be yours. Survival could be a challenge for those who lack skills like adaptability, critical thinking and communication.
- Be the Excel King
Keeping a list of colleges ready in the beginning of grade 11 or before is always recommended. You may keep adding or deleting it once your research, discussion with mentors or change in course choices happens. The last two years of school are crucial in building up the right profile for the university that you are targeting. An excel sheet comes handy when you have to keep a track of entrances, eligibility criteria, standardised tests, timeline and country preferences.
Remember! Rome was not built in a day!
Follow the stated mantras in any order and you will make it to the right college!!