How I Chose My School (& How It Can Help You)

For seniors, this may be the most stressful time of their life. They, at only 17 or 18 years old, are required to basically decide their future. I personally think that that is way too early to be doing anything that important, but hey, I don't make the "rules." I have a few very good friends still in high school, trying to decide what college they will attend in the fall. This isn't just some decision you can pull out from a hat, or close your eyes and point to one, you have to put lots of thought into it. So a question I get a lot, especially when I tell people I came from Kansas, is "how did you decide on TCU?" (Hint: during your first week of college, this is one question professors and adults love to ask to make casual small talk)

How I Chose My School & How It Can Help You-

Here are just a few factors I knew I wanted in a school. I discussed them with my parents, I discussed them with my high school counselor, heck I even discussed them with my tutor for the ACT.

Somewhere New
If you live in Kansas you know that a majority of high schoolers were born and bred to go to either: K-State, KU or Mizzou. I was a KU baby. My mom, grandma, grandpa, uncle and brother all went there. But I'd known for a while I didn't want to go to KU. Maybe it was because a large portion of my high school went there, or maybe it was because it was the same exact scenery as my home in Kansas City, but I just knew I did not want to go somewhere familiar.

Something Small
Okay when I first told my counselor this, she told me to look at Rhodes College in Memphis. Do you know how small Rhodes is?! There are roughly 1,800 students. That's, what, like 450 students in each grade. THAT IS THE SIZE OF MY HIGH SCHOOL. No thank you. (Hey, no offense if you go to Rhodes) I wanted something smaller than KU (27,900) but bigger than Rhodes. I wanted to feel like I wasn't just a number, but someone that actually was part of the campus.

Somewhere Great
I'm sure that if you love your college, you'll consider it "great" but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a college that will better me as a student, a leader and as a person. I'm a business student, so I wanted a great business program. But I also wanted a place where they encourage the growth of leadership as well. Basically wherever I went, I wanted them to shape me to be the best possible version of myself.

Somewhere Exciting
I'm not really sure what it would be like to go to a school in the middle of nowhere... but my guess is that it isn't that great. I wanted to go somewhere where I wasn't trapped on campus, I wanted to be able to venture out, explore the city, try new food and whatnot. I'm not just here for an education, but I'm here to expand my boundaries.

Somewhere Perfect
Ok this is the section where it's completely catered to my personality so you probably don't care much. But for me, I wanted a school with a great Greek system, a beautiful campus that made me excited to walk to class, decent weather (let's be real: Texas weather is totally bipolar) and somewhere that would actually accept me?! (I mean this literally: I couldn't go to a school I didn't get accepted to of course)

I hope that 1) if you're a high school senior, this helped you out a little bit. I know when I was in your position I literally wrote a pros and cons list about my school options. I totally suggest you do the same and take some of my suggestions to heart. 2) if you're anyone other than a high school senior... I'm surprised you're still reading this. Except for you, mom. Hi mom! But if you just want to hear more about why I LOVE TCU, check out this post!

Sorry for the absolutely horrific job I've been doing at blogging recently- but hey I'm actually busy college-ing?!?! Yeah, it's pretty great.


  1. Hi- yes this is mom!
    I have to agree Emma did plenty of research, knew what she wanted and what she did not want! Happy student = Very happy parents. Happy doesn't mean the same thing as non-stop fun, partying, etc. Look beyond the obvious fun for the school benefits that will have you prepared for a career that's going to make you happy - whether you know what you want to do yet or not, choose a school with great options and support. Emma's school even has a freshman course to help undecided's learn what you'll be well suited for. Keep your spring grades up and keep asking for some scholarship money- it works. It's not an easy time to wait... But worth it!

  2. I think this post is super helpful! I'm currently a college sophomore, so I am well past my college application process, but its always interesting to hear about how others decided to attend their schools!