Choosing what schools to apply to or what school to attend after you’re accepted is a daunting task. Here are some things to remember when choosing your school.
1. Number of Clubs
The amount of clubs a school sometimes directly correlates to the number of students at the school. Often times, schools like Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut will only have fewer than 100 clubs because there are only 6,500 students. Larger schools like the University of Connecticut have more than 500 clubs and organizations on campus. UConn also has 17,500 students, so more clubs on campus are a must in order for everyone to find their niche. Every college and university has a list of all of the clubs and organizations they have on campus. Simply Google “[College name here] Clubs and Organizations” to find the list of activities offered at a school.
2. Greek Life
Joining a sorority or fraternity, whether it is a social, academic, or cultural organization, will help you become acquainted with your college a lot better. Greek life provides many advantages for students. Things like involvement with various philanthropies and community events both on and off campus, as well as community programming that benefits the good of others, are just a few ways Greeks become involved with their community. Leadership opportunities are plentiful, too. The friendships made in Greek life are so strong because the majority of the people in each organization are there because they have similar goals, attitudes, and desires to grow as an individual and community.
3. Athletics (Intramurals, Club Sports, Sports Division)
If school spirit is something you love and desire, then look for schools that have division 1 teams. If you love sports but aren’t the best at them, search for schools that have many intramural team options to choose from. At Division I schools, club sports teams are extremely competitive and are highly regarded. Athletics are important to many people and provide a sense of comradery and unity amongst students.
4. Job Opportunities
Like clubs and organizations, the number of job opportunities available to students correlates with the size of the school. At larger campuses there are more opportunities because departments are bigger, student centers need more workers, and local establishments need to function. The only way many organizations and businesses work is with the help of student workers. The smaller the campus, the fewer number of opportunities.
5. The Party Scene
This is a little bit harder to identify because it takes some digging to figure out what the party scene is really like at some schools. The best way to find out is by asking someone who goes to the school you’re interested in. But, this can be a little bit awkward and tricky, which is why it’s a good idea to basically stalk the school you’re interested in.
Search for them on YouTube, Tumblr tags, and on their College Confidential section. Larger schools in college towns tend to have parties in off-campus houses that aren’t located too far away from campus. Students at many schools only party in their dorm rooms or off-campus apartments. Party scenes are different at every school. If going out is important to you, then it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into before you get there. But, the party scene at a school should never make or break your decision to go there.
Everyone’s list of necessities a college must have are different. Personally, I knew that I wanted to go to a school with Greek life and one that had many job opportunities. I didn’t plan on playing any sports in college, so the number of club sports teams and intramural teams didn’t matter to me. However, my way of thinking is not the same as everyone else’s at my university. These are only a few things that you should take into consideration when choosing what schools to apply to or what school to ultimately attend. Here’s one last thing to remember: choose the school that is right for you under your own circumstances and terms. Good luck!