You and your friends have decided to go to college, and you may be wondering exactly where you’ll end up going. Maybe you want to be near your family or live in a big city, or maybe you plan to find a place to spend the next four years with your friends. You might just want to go alone—but the help of your friends can make your college search way easier. Here are some ways you and your friends can team up on the college search process.
Look into colleges with your desired major
While you may want to go to a college where you can meet the most people and have the greatest time of your life, you should also keep in mind what exactly you’re going to college for: an education. In teaming up with friends, it’s a good idea to keep them accountable in remembering why they’re deciding to choose a certain college too. The next four years of your life—and how well you do during those years—depends on the environment you choose. There's no doubt your friends probably know how you work in certain situations, so having an opinion on whether you're going to thrive there isn't a bad thing. Be sure to keep academics in mind and help each other find colleges that are great for your major(s) of choice.
It may be best to apply to different colleges
You may want to go to the same college as your friends, and on the surface, that seems like a great idea, but the college admission process is very unexpected. If you know where you’d like to go, be aware that sometimes there’s competition—sometimes against your friends. It would be a wonderful outcome to get into the same school as them, but if you don't, rejection can be hard to deal with. Don't be afraid to apply to schools your friends have no interest in. Also, it’s best not to monopolize a school and make your friends feel like they can’t apply there too.
Support your friends
The college search and application process can be stressful, and sometimes all you need is encouragement from your friends. When you’re searching for schools, don't persuade them not to apply to a school if their stats look different from the average accepted student. Sometimes college admission can seem random, and applying to “reach” schools is always worth the shot. So if a friend decides to apply to a selective college, think positive and give affirmations that everything will go well. This is a stressful time in most teens’ lives, so don't allow people you know to put pressure on you, making you decide not to apply—and vice versa, don’t do that to anyone else. Ultimately, college applications are focused on you and you only; with that in mind, strive for your best and encourage your friends to do the same. If you do get accepted into your dream school, that’s amazing! But if a friend doesn't, support them through that tough experience. Every rejection is a form of redirection. Make sure they’re okay and help them see the other schools that would gladly accept them.
Teaming up with your friends on the college search can be different for many people. Supporting each other during this stressful, unpredictable time is very important. Just as your friends support you and your dreams, do the same for them—especially if they’ve been rejected from a dream college. Being rejected or accepted to a specific school isn’t the end of the world. If you’re lucky enough to be accepted to your dream school, it's okay to be happy. You worked very hard, and showing emotions during the appropriate time around the appropriate people is great. Just try to be sensitive to your friends' feelings and let them know that you’re there for them.
The college search will be even easier for you and your friends if you use our College Search tool!