What high school students should consider before heading to college

When entering the final stages of your high school career, college may seem like a daunting task. There are a lot of decisions to be made such as where you will apply and what your major will be. It’s important to take this task one step at a time. Narrow down your options. Things such as location, athletics and degree programs are top factors to consider when trying to find the right college for you.

Where to start?
One of the questions you may be hearing quite often is, “What are you going to major in?” This may seem overwhelming, but when it comes to deciding what to major in, choose something that interests you. There are hundreds of tests online you can take to help find careers that match your interests. It’s also important to research the demand levels for those careers. There are definitely careers out there that are overflowing with available employees and there are also some that are in need of more people. By researching this before you’re handed your degree, it will give you an idea of the job search you will be tackling after graduation.

Academics and class sizes
Even if you don’t know exactly what you want to major in, research schools that offer your academic interests. If science appeals to you, look into colleges that are known for having science programs equipped laboratories to assist you in learning. Science is just one example of a program that colleges offer. Accounting, cybersecurity, nursing and many other options are available — so be sure to find a college that suits your academic interests.

It’s also good to consider the environment you learn in best. Whether you like large lecture halls, small classrooms or even online classes, there’s a university for you. By understanding how you learn most effectively, you’ll set yourself up for academic success.

Athletics 
Another thing to consider is the college’s athletic programs. There are a large number of student-athletes in both high school and college, and this could be a deciding factor in choosing which college you’ll attend. However, you should not base your entire decision on athletics alone. If you’re considering being a student-athlete in college, it’s important to find a program that aligns with your values. This may seem small, but it can make a huge difference. Another huge factor to consider when it comes to athletics — are any schools willing to offer a scholarship? Athletic scholarships can be a great way to reduce the cost of going to college.

Student life
In addition to academics, class size and athletics, it’s also important to check out the social aspects a college has to offer. Student life is a big part of defining school culture. Organizations, school location and campus traditions are a few things to consider — these give you an option to explore your passions outside of the classroom. Student organizations give you the opportunity to engage in something important to you with people who have the same interests. A school’s location allows you to explore what your school’s city has to offer such as local hangout spots, downtown events and even walking or hiking trails. Campus traditions encourage students to engage with each other. Many colleges kick-off the school year with a variety of different events to help you meet new people. Looking into these aspects of student life will allow you to understand the college environment you prefer.

Act now
One final thing to take into consideration — it’s important to remember to not wait until the last minute to start thinking about college. It’s difficult to think about the future when you’re ending a big chapter of your life, but don’t procrastinate. The sooner you get started, the easier the process will be and the more time you’ll have to make the right decision.

By narrowing down your list of schools, researching different career paths and figuring out what you value most in a college, you will be able to make a well-educated decision on which college to attend. One of the biggest tips we can provide is to listen to your own opinion. Family and friends can give great advice on your future but, at the end of the day, it’s your decision. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to picking a college — do your research and trust yourself throughout the process to make the right choice.

Don’t wait! Check out what your future could look like by taking the first step today. There are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a career path.

Davenport offers high-quality programs specifically designed for you to excel academically. To request more information from a Davenport representative, visit www.davenport.edu.

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