Selecting the right university to study in can be a mentally demanding task. In the eyes of many, a university is the bridge to the real world—adulthood. So, you can imagine the feeling of independence you get when you enrol for one; but which one is the right? You may have compiled a list of reputable universities from the internet that piqued your interest. Being a teen, you probably selected a university because of its beautiful landscapes, its diverse culture of students and the fact that it has cool frat parties. But when you think about these reasons in the context of real life, do they really matter?
They don’t, do they? Don’t fret; we’ve compiled a guide to help you settle on a university that suits you, without feeling pressured.
- Let your Chosen Course Choose: Emphatic alliteration, right? It should be. Before deciding on any university, you need to have chosen a field of study. This is what you study for the next four years or more, and it will most likely shape your future job opportunities. It would be a waste, however, if you studied a high paying course at a university that cannot teach you up to standard. Do an extensive research on the university’s curriculum, its available electives and the competence of its lecturers. You can also attend open houses or take a tour of the campus, to get more information.
- Compare University Rankings: Every university appears on a list somewhere, especially if it’s very reputable. While regular lists grade universities on an overall performance average, some rank based on fields of study. Whichever you choose, works fine. But you might want to focus on the specific rankings. Because in these types of list, you gain important information like student to lecturer ratio. This ratio defines the amount of attention that a single lecturer can afford each student. Lower ratios are more beneficial to students.
- Inspect the Campus Library: Having an adequate student library is a prerequisite for every reputable university. You must ensure that your preferred university has a good library. Things you should find out when sizing up a campus library are its closing hours, book bank, and book borrowing policies. Cafes are also worth checking out. Ensure the university has 24 hour working cafes. You’ll need them.
- Extra-Curricular Activities are important: While your main purpose for attending a university is to obtain a degree, it shouldn’t be the only thing you participate in. Humans need to socialise and recreate regularly to stay sane. The state of the university’s school life should also be considered. Some schools have a student union which host fun extra-curricular events. To get information on such activities, you can take a tour of the campus or look it up on the university’s website.
- University’s Location: Sometimes, the deciding factor in choosing what university you attend is its distance to home. If it’s too close to home, you may never experience the type of independence that comes with being distant from home. If it’s too remote, traveling home from time to time might be a bit costly. So, you should aim for a university that isn’t too close to home and that isn’t too distant either.
You should never choose a university while under pressure. Take your sweet time. Your patience will be vindicated in the end. If you diligently follow the tips above, in no time you will find the university that fits you best. Have a great freshman year!