Picking a College: Follow Your Heart

Applying to college was stressful. Picking a college was way more difficult. 

When I was going through the college application process, my guidance counselor and teachers told our class to apply to around 8 schools. Too little was unsafe. Too many would drive you insane. Naturally, I decided that I needed to play it extra safe, and I applied to 24 schools: 4 UC’s and 20 Privates. If the Common Application didn’t have a limit, I would have definitely applied to even more.

It’s natural to stress about where you’ll get in, but eventually, when you have all your choices laid out for you, you have to decide where you’ll spend the next four years of your life. The school that shapes you into a professional. The one that is on your resume that you hand to every employer. No pressure.

In the end, my top choices came down to Columbia University and my current school. Both are great schools…but one is an Ivy League. This sole fact kept me up for days and seemed to be the main reason why I couldn’t seem to commit, even though I knew where I would be most happy.

The best advice I got during the entire decision-making process was to follow my heart. Cheesy? Absolutely. Effective? Definitely. College is the time to challenge yourself and grow, both personally and professionally. Don’t worry about brand names. Ask yourself and ask those who know you the best: where will I thrive? You can make all the pro-con lists in the world to justify why you should attend one school over another but you know in your heart where you belong. 💕raw.gif

Where are you in your educational journey? High school? College? Working? Let me know how the process was for you! 😍

28 thoughts on “Picking a College: Follow Your Heart

    1. Ohh that’s honestly such a tough choice! My friend wants to attend law school and she’s already telling me all about the importance of rankings. :O I’m sure though wherever you go you’ll be fine! I believe in your ability (not just the school along with it) 🙂 Where are you leaning towards?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m graduating this year and was stuck between three colleges – I agree fully with you though, I knew in my heart which college I wanted and would fit in and thrive best but the other two had their own temptations (one is well known, and the other my best friend was going to.) it was a tough choice but I’m thrilled with my decision and can’t wait to jump in

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  2. Ahhh! I thought that was WashU! It would have been fantastic if you went there because I would have a blogging friend nearby! 😂 My family wanted me to go there, but I ended up not going due to financial issues. (I chose to go to a different college but I sacrificed happiness.) 😞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do go to WashU!! Oh no!! 😦 It’s okay though I think financial reasons is such an important factor when it comes to picking a college. I know that one of the biggest reasons I picked WashU was because of the financial aid too 😦 I’m sure you’ll do amazing at the other college you chose!

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  3. I love that you shared this, because I remember when my daughter was choosing her school. It as between Carnegie Mellon for engineering and Syracuse for theatre design (free ride). I let her choose (she went to SU), and people could not believe I allowed her to do that. But, nothing is worse than regret. Follow your passion. There is so much life to live beyond college.

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    1. Yes!! I’m so happy that you were so supportive of your daughter. I know my mom initially wanted me to pick Columbia for the name, but over time she pushed me to pick WashU. It’s honestly so much easier to make the decision when your parents who know you well also see the school as a good fit ❤

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  4. Well, for me, I’d like to think that I’m currently in the right university. But when I first got here, I was in the wrong degree program.

    In the Philippines, all the best universities are in Metro Manila, which is pretty far away from where I live.

    Being the firstborn of three daughters to Filipino parents meant that I was raised in a totally sheltered environment. My parents, particularly my mom, were (and still are) overprotective of me. And I felt that, although I appreciate their concern for my well-being, their overprotectiveness was hindering me from the kind of growth I wanted for myself. So I knew then and there that I had to move out — and the only way to do that was to go for a university outside my province.

    And for that reason, I applied solely to the “Big Four” universities that are regarded as the most exceptional in the country. All of them are located in Metro Manila. I refused to take entrance exams for colleges in my province or anywhere else, really.

    Luck was on my side, and I was accepted to all four universities! Honestly, my dream college had always been Ateneo de Manila, and I had hoped to pursue a communications or business degree there. However, the cost of an Ateneo education was much too heavy for my family to bear, which led me to attending the University of the Philippines Diliman and pursuing chemical engineering. I wouldn’t even call it a loss, really, because UP Diliman is ranked first in the country — even higher than Ateneo.

    I didn’t realize it then, but UP was more than equipped to provide me with the personal growth I was looking for AND MORE! I didn’t just learn more about myself, but also about the privileges I was given, the plight of the Filipino masses, and the ills of society. Being here has really opened my eyes!

    And now that I finally found the right degree program for myself, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

    I am so excited for you! I’m glad to know you followed your heart, and I wish you all the best! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your story is so inspiring!! You’re honestly such a great daughter & sister for thinking so much of your family 💕 I think it’s amazing that you’re studying chemical engineering too and at the best Uni in the Philippines! YOURE SLAYING!! I’m so happy you found a place where you’re really pushed to grow so much and happy too 🙂

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      1. Thank you so much! I actually left engineering (I realized it wasn’t for me) and now I’m back in my first passion, which is communication! I’m now majoring in Communication Research and I couldn’t be happier. ❤️

        I wish you all the best experiences, too! College can be a bit intimidating, but it’s not so scary once you realize that nothing is a race. Learn and grow at your own pace. 😊🌻

        Liked by 1 person

  5. AHH THIS POST IS WAY TOO TIMELY I CAN’T BELIEVE I’LL BE ATTENDING COLLEGE IN JUST A FEW MONTHS!!! T_T

    First of all–whoa at applying 24 schools! I don’t know if the process is different there, but in my country, I think applying to 10 is already a handful. Since I’m from a pretty well-known and prestigious private high school, the school seems to think that we’ll all get in to at least one of the 4 Big Schools here in Manila, so they only help with applications to those 4. If you want to apply to others, go forth on your own!

    Being a lazy bum, I only applied to said Big Schools. xD Luckily I passed 3 (and the last one hasn’t released results yet), so CHOOSING. AHHH. I already have a 90% solid decision as to where I think I’d fit in and be able to be myself the most. 🙂

    PICKING A COURSE IS ALSO HARD B/C I HAVE NO TALENTS AND/OR GOALS. T_T I went with computer science but I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE FUTURE WILL HOLD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AIMEE YOURE SLAYING!! You’ve been accepted to 3 of the best schools already?? #amazing I’m so excited for you to start this journey!! College is so fun and I’m learning so much, so I can’t wait for you to experience the same!! I know that whichever you pick though you’ll be thriving~

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  6. Great post! I applied to 11 schools and I thought that was a lot, but 24 is a HUGE amount. The amount of essays you must’ve had to write is insane. 🙂
    I just picked where I’m going to college, and now I’m trying to decide what to major in! Talk about options haha. 🙂 There is so much out there and so many things I want to learn that I just told my mom “Can I major in it all?!” I’m curious, what’s your major? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY! Where did you decide? I’m so excited for you!! College is such a fun experience. Academics are harder, but all the friends you make and how much you grow is insane. I’m Finance and Accounting double majors and a Political Science minor! It all depends on what are your professional interests 🙂

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      1. University of Southern California! And I’m currently thinking Applied Math, and still trying to figure out what I really want in a career. There is so much out there, so I know talking with professors and trying out some classes will help me decide 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Omg this post is what I needed to read right now! I am starting the college application process and now trying to decide where to apply early decision. There’s one school that I am 90% sold on, but it isn’t as “name-brand” recognized for different programs. This is something I’ve been thinking about for months. Thank you for sharing!!
    claire @ clairefy

    Liked by 1 person

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