Maybe May 1st snuck up on you and had to put your money somewhere. Maybe you only got into safeties and now you think another one is better than the one you chose. Maybe you ended up getting off the waitlist of a school you never thought you would get into. Maybe you’re just having a mid-summer crisis. No matter the reasoning, you have found yourself thinking you made the wrong decision. You may have put down the deposit for a school you really love and were sure was the right choice; you bought the t-shirts and bumper stickers and proudly wear your college swag. But you can’t help feeling that something isn’t right and the school you chose is not the school where you belong.
It’s not irrational and there is no reason to be ashamed of these feelings. Whenever you have to make a huge decision–such as picking a college–you are probably going to second guess yourself at least for a few seconds. What college you end up attending is one of the biggest decisions you will make, and probably the biggest one you’ve made at this point in your life. Second guessing it is perfectly natural and you can’t really control them–but you can control what you do about them.
Here’s some ideas you can use to help calm those uncertain feelings or to figure out if you really did make the wrong decision.
If your college is close enough or you have the financial means, go back. Being on the campus–whether it is your first time or one hundredth–may remind you why you fell in love with the school in the first place. You don’t necessarily have to do the traditional tour and info session, sometimes just walking around will do just the trick.
The classic pro/con list is your best friend when making tough decisions. Make a list of the reasons you fell in love with the school in the first place and a list of why you think you are second guessing those reasons.Writing it down may help you realize that the reason you are second guessing your decision are petty–or it may help you realize that you actually have legitimate concerns.
Talk it Out
Talk out the reasons you no longer think your college is the right choice. A second party may be able to talk you down or show you that you really did make the right decision. Also, sometimes saying your feelings out loud can help you realize why you have them and whether or not there are actual reasons behind them.
Are the reasons you no longer want to go to your college fixable? For example, if one reason you are second guessing yourself is financial, are there more scholarships you can apply for? If you don’t think there is enough to do at the school, look at what is available around the school, such as club sports or other groups. A lot of the times the problems you have with a school are fixable, so don’t let something that doesn’t have to be a problem affect your entire decision.
Give it a Shot
Ultimately, no matter if you are second guessing yourself or not, the only way to know if you made the right decision is to actually go to college. When you are on campus as an actual student, your viewpoint completely changes, and so might your opinion of the school. Even if you aren’t sure if you made the right decision, once you actually start you may find that those fears were completely wrong.
If all else fails and you realize that you actually did make the wrong decision, know that transferring is an option. If you start school and realize that you definitely did make the wrong decision, you do have the option to leave. However, this should always be a last resort. Transferring is difficult and stressful, so only do it if you are sure you cannot be happy at your current school.