Fit: Advice from a Happy College Student
As the ending of my first year of college coincides with the beginning of the application cycle for the class of 2019, I have a few words of advice that might be beneficial in choosing which colleges to apply to. After all, there are hundreds of colleges to choose from, each vying for your application file. We may all have different criteria when selecting colleges (for example, I wanted to go out of state), but one piece should always be taken into consideration: fit.
Sure, a lot of people have tossed around “fit” as an abstract concept, but what does it really mean? All too often, we look to the US World Rankings as the Bible for our college choices; “I’ll just apply to whichever is ranked higher” or “I’ll just apply to the one that has the higher acceptance rate.” Although there is some merit to these arguments, the empirical data that supports the rankings and acceptance rate only goes so far.
I challenge students to consider what feels right. If they can see themselves at the school making friends, thriving, engaging in all the school has to offer.
Come last April, I was struggling with my college decisions, where I was going to go. My parents felt very strongly that I should attend a very well-known private school out in New England. Their reasons were fair; it had prestige along with old money and connections that would definitely behoove me in a post-graduate job hunt. But it just didn’t feel right. It lacked the quirkiness that I saw in UChicago students and myself. I might have been happy at the other school, but I doubt that happiness could compete with the kinship and joy that I feel at Chicago. I have found my people. However, that is not to say that everyone is happy here. I have a friend who is transferring out because she found out that Chicago doesn’t provide the artistic environment that she wants to pursue film. Again, it is all about the fit. Just a like a T-shirt, right? Is it too small, too big, too scratchy, or too warm? College is like a shirt. You just have to find the one that fits.