Making the college decision alone, not based on where your friends are going

When you are a teenager, your friends can be your life. It is easy to make the mistake of choosing where you go to school based on where your friends are going to attend. While having some friends in college can be nice, it is also not wise to base your college decision on where your friends are going. The following is a guide to why you should make the college decision alone:

  1. College often determines a large portion of your future. The college you pick can have a great bearing on where you live after graduating, what career path you choose, what your political views are, etc. A large portion of people meet their future spouse during the college years. In other words, the place you attend college will impact much of the rest of your life, and you should never make such a monumental decision based on what your friends want and think, rather what you want and think. If you pick a school because that is where your friends are, you short change yourself so many opportunities for growth, and the potential of going to a better school, whether educationally, or just better for you!
  2. College friends tend to last far longer than high school friends, and you might stunt your social growth if you have friends there. If you go to the same college as your friends, you will likely end up living with them, and spending your free time with them. A huge part of the college experience is about networking, meeting new people, and expanding and growing, both socially and intellectually. It is platform for people of all different races, backgrounds, and cultures to come together and learn. If you stick with your comfortable little group, you never expand.
  3. You and your friends may not have the same future goals. Colleges all offer different strengths. Some are very academic, some inspire free thinking, some are party schools, some are great for certain areas, like arts, others sciences, math, or language. The point is, not every college has everything. So, you have to choose the college that best suits your future goals. If you intend to run a large corporation, attending an Ivy League school might be better for you than say a State school. Your friend’s ambition may simply be to enjoy college and meet someone to marry. So, because you and your friends’ future goals can’t, and shouldn’t be identical, the college that best suits you is likely to be different as well.
  4. You really do not get a clean slate. One of the great things about college is escaping the high school drama and becoming who you are, regardless of what other people and experiences you have. So, it gives you a chance to be your true self, remake yourself if you want, etc. If you go with your friends, instead of where you want to go, you may not get this chance.
  5. People change. College is a time where parents are not there guiding your decisions, so people become more of their true selves, their priorities become clear, and people change. While many friendships last, many others grow apart. Do not base a large decision on someone else, as there is a high probability that you will grow apart within the first year of college anyway, and by sophomore year you will have your own, individual social circles, even if you do still hang out.

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