Trust Your Instincts: Why Your Gut Feeling Matters in the College Section Process

Everyone has gut feelings over many aspects of their life, and you could be having one about a college you applied to. Believe it or not, these gut feelings and your emotions combined with logic can provide valuable insight into whether or not the school is right for you.

What Was Your First Impression?

Just like with people, first impressions matter. How did you feel about the school when you first learned about it? When you first visited? How was the tour process? If the tour made you feel uneasy or was disorganized, it could be putting a bad feeling in your stomach. Or you may just have felt differently about the college after you experienced it for yourself. That’s okay. That’s what this process is about.

On the other hand, you may have had a great first impression. You’ll definitely want to take that into account too when deciding on a school.

Could You See Yourself There For Four Years?

This is a very important question and definitely one where your gut feeling comes into play. Some people can tell right away if a school is the right fit for them. If you feel it isn’t for you, it probably isn’t. Try picturing yourself at the college. How do you feel about it after imaging yourself on campus, with friends, at the dorm room, or in class?

What Do Your Emotions Say?

Your emotions, for the most part, can be trusted. First and later impressions should be paid attention to. Emotions can make up a lot of our feelings in every day life, and your college decision shouldn’t be an exception.

Now, you shouldn’t base 100% of your decision on gut feelings and emotions, but they can provide a very powerful place to start when choosing your college.

What Does Logic Say?

If you have a good feeling about some schools or even a bad gut feeling, look at the logical side of it. Emotions can sometimes be misleading, so consider logic as well. Consider every aspect of the school and try re-evaluating your emotions. See if you feel the same after this period of time. You’ll want to think about the statistics, your major, your intended career, as well as everything else on campus.

Even if your heart says “Yes” about a particular school, it may not be the best choice in the end if it doesn’t have a great program for your intended major or career, or isn’t affordable, or isn’t in a location you’d find ideal.

Trust Yourself

As stated before, you will most likely be attending the college you choose for the next four years or so. You can always transfer if you decide the college isn’t right for you, but you can hopefully avoid that by taking your emotions and gut feelings into account from the beginning. If your mind is screaming no, even though your parents, friends, or teachers think a specific school is a good choice, you may want to follow your own opinion rather than taking the chance. It could work out if you go, but the college is also probably a better choice for them than yourself.

Your gut feeling can be a valuable resource in every day life and this is absolutely true when it comes to choosing a college. Take these emotions seriously. Don’t dismiss them, but make sure to add a dose of logic as well. You don’t want to be unhappy at the college you choose.

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Hilary Cairns

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