The College Search Process: We’re All Struggling Together

Elizabeth Jackson, Reporter

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As the crisp fall air brings in excitement over football games and bonfires, it also carries in an overwhelming amount of stress to many seniors. The college selection process is challenging in the sense that it brings many weeks of stress, late-nights, and essay writing. Students in pursuit of higher education have an individual idea of what their future may look like.

For senior, Lucy Chang, attending a prestigious Ivy League school wasn’t on her agenda until recently, “I used to think that an Ivy was too ambitious, but as college became more of a reality, I thought, hey let’s just go for it.” Lucy is applying to Cornell University with an intended major in Hospitality. Though Lucy claims Cornell is “only ranked like, eight, in the Ivies”, it still brings on a great amount of stress. According to Lucy, writing college essays can be the most killer part of applying to college. And of course, it is especially difficult to choose a college with an unknown major.

Some students look for colleges based on what they want to major in. Cameron Madson began searching for colleges after discovering an interest in Architectural Engineering.  He simply used Google in order to search the top Architectural Engineering programs in the country, and stumbled upon Kansas University. Many students struggle with making the decision to leave Iowa. How does one make the decision to go out-of-state? Cameron replied, “It was mostly for the programs they offer at KU. They offer Architectural Engineering which no Iowa school offers. Also because it would be really nice to get out of Iowa even if it is just going to Kansas.”

The other half of the senior class has a seemingly easier decision to make; Iowa State or Iowa? Since the state of Iowa is home to two renown state schools, many students decide to not leave the state. After touring both schools, Julia Hansen was impressed enough to stay in-state. To her and many other students, Iowa State and Iowa are appealing because of their affordability, and quality education. Like many others, Julia was impressed by Iowa State, but also longing to have a fresh start outside of Ames:

“I really like Iowa State’s campus and overall feel but not the fact that it’s in Ames. It  would be really nice to experience a different town and a separate college from what I’m familiar with…since I’m not 100% sure of my major it’s hard to decide between the two.”

The college search process may look different for each student, but everyone can find comfort in the fact that everyone is struggling and stressed-out together. It’s important to remember that this selection process is challenging but ultimately rewarding. Each student will find the perfect school, and the hard-work will all seem to pay off.

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