So Now You're a Senior...and the End is Near!

Hey all! For my first post, I wanted to take it back to square one. Two years ago, right around this time, heading into my final stretch of senior year. I can STILL remember all the craziness of that time in my life. 

I was juggling:

  • AP exams
  • senior prom
  • senior year cross country season
  • state orchestra finals
  • homecoming
  • spring break plans
  • SENIORITIS
  • ...and choosing a college!

Granted, some of these things are fun. (Senior prom! Spring break! Homecoming!) But it was all compounded by the fact that this was the last time for everything. And hanging over my head was the biggest decision of my life up until that point:

Where was I going to start my life as a young adult?

I was not one of those students who knew exactly where I wanted to go from day one. In fact, I didn't choose IU until April of my senior year after all the scholarships came through. Looking back, I wish I'd known from the very beginning just how RIGHT that choice would be for me! It would have alleviated so much stress, worry, and anxiety as I neared the end of senior year. 

I just wanted to take time in this post to let every senior who still hasn't chosen a college to know: it's okay to be nervous and to not know exactly where you want to go.

Here are a few of the important things I considered when it came to finally choosing IU: 

1. Location--

Bloomington is beautiful. It is a great town with so much to offer. It is also a little over 2 hours away from my hometown. For me, I didn't want to stay home, but knowing home was within reach was a comfort to me.

Now that I'm here, I have found you can truly make IU as far away or as close to home as you want, no matter where you're from. There are so many outlets here that bring comfort to me now that I haven't visited home since Christmas break. Last year, when I was still adjusting, I was able to go home at least once a month and enjoyed that flexibility as well. 

2. Financial--

Finances are something we all consider when it comes to college. Student debt is a huge issue in our nation right now, and making a smart economic decision is important. College is likely the biggest investment you'll have made so far in your life, both money-wise and timewise. This is where SCHOLARSHIPS come into play. I cannot stress enough to take advantage of every avenue that IU offers when it comes to scholarship applications and financial aid. It helped me out SO much, and in the end I was very glad I took the time to apply for financial scholarships. 

3. How do I feel on campus?--

You'll want to visit campus, at least once. When I stepped foot in Bloomington, it was a beautiful, sunny day. There was something new around every corner. And I genuinely felt like the tour guides, fellow students, and advisors WANTED me here. At no other college I visited did I feel as pursued and welcomed as I did at IU. It made me immediately feel at home and envision myself fitting in on campus. Some other places I visited seemed so competitive; like I would be lucky if they admitted me and allowed me to join them. At IU, it was the complete opposite, and that paid off big time in my final decision.

4. What majors/schools are offered? What is their reputation?--

And finally, as you might guess considering I had no idea where I wanted to go to school, I also had no idea what I wanted to study. I had vague ideas...maybe writing, pre-med, business, psychology, neuroscience...(these were all my earliest ideas as to what I wanted to do). I began googling the "Best College for ____", and whether that blank was filled with "Journalism" or "Business" or "Psychology", I kept getting Indiana University as a result. To know that a school had such a reputable record in so many various fields became VERY important to me as I chose a college. Knowing that I could change my mind (and major) and not really go wrong since every program was so strong was a huge safety net for me. I am so glad I'm at IU now, and really feel like I am able to take advantage of the MANY great schools here. 

I haven't even gotten to talk about half the reasons IU ended up being a great choice, but seniors are busy people and I wanted to keep the list short and sweet for now :) Hopefully this helps you start narrowing down the choice. 

If you have already decided, or if you're in college now--

  • What factors did you consider when choosing a college?
  • Why did those things matter to you?

And, as always, if you have any questions about college, feel free to ask!

-Rachel

About The Author
Rachel HartogJournalism Major, Class of 2014, Georgetown, IN

I am a journalism major and business minor and plan to graduate in May 2014. Some of my best experiences in life have been because of IU, including studying abroad, meeting great people, and having an awesome internship

After I graduate, I hope to get into the broadcast journalism field, either traveling as a field reporter or getting to cover local events. I'm still exploring what specific area interests me but am open to just about anything!

I am looking forward to sharing all of my experience and everything that makes IU such a great place to be on this blog!