How I Chose My College: “A Feeling This Was It”

here's why I chose my college

Flickr user Stanley Zimmy

In 2006, I graduated from high school and started attending SUNY New Paltz, where I would go on to major in English with a focus on creative writing. I wanted to share with you the process I went through and why I chose my college.

My Parents Got Involved

Part of why I chose my college was because of my parents. Very early on in my senior year, my parents pretty much carried the flame for my future college career. I was happy going to a 2-year college before going after my bachelor’s. This was for two reasons: To help them save money (they paid for my whole tuition) and to help ensure I wanted to major in English. However, they insisted I attend a 4-year college right off the bat.

I was pushed to start searching for colleges therefore, ones that my parents approved of and fit within a range of tuition my mom thought was acceptable (as I discussed in “How I Paid For College,” we weren’t quite entirely sure how tuition worked at some schools). I was also restricted to the immediate area. That really only included New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. So, I was talked out of applying to any colleges in one of my favorite places: New Hampshire.

I’ll be honest: It got a bit tense at times with several different opinions between my parents and I and with family members or friends voicing their thoughts to my parents.

Where I Applied

In the end, I ended up applying to three schools: SUNY Albany, SUNY New Paltz, and Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. I had been to New Paltz quite often as it was only 45 minutes away from our home. And Kutztown is located in an area our family often vacationed. I chose Albany as a third application, but my decision was already really between New Paltz or Kutztown when those applications went out.

My Decision

I was accepted to all three, and I quickly wrote off Albany. I was not impressed with the city and wasn’t familiar with the area. It was between New Paltz and Kutztown. After a few weeks, I ended up settling on New Paltz because Kutztown just didn’t ‘feel right’ for me. When I was on the SUNY campus, I had a feeling that this was it. This was the right choice.

I had grown up going to New Paltz and the nearby preserves of Mohonk and Minnewaska. Because of that, I was familiar with the area and comfortable there. I wasn’t far away from my family, it was well known for the major and focus I wanted to pursue, and the city was definitely an enjoyable one on top of beautiful views in the fall.

You could almost say why I chose my college was due to a gut feeling. When I visited SUNY New Paltz after receiving the acceptance letter, it felt like the right choice immediately. In the end, choosing New Paltz was a very easy decision, but the process of getting to that point was a bit more stressful!

Looking back now, I definitely wish I had known more about the application process and had a little more freedom on where I could apply. I probably still would have attended SUNY New Paltz, but I would have loved to have a few more options.

College Raptor can help you explore those options! With our free match tool, you can discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for every college in the US!

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