Nowadays, there are a multitude of options to choose from, in regards to educational universities and colleges. With cut- throat competition and a host of bright opportunities, students are often in a quandary before applying for admissions; there are a host of courses, and innumerable entrance exams and applications. Add to this a lavish dose of opinions and recommendations from friends and relatives, and this situation becomes even more gruelling. However, what you need to keep in mind is that you are smart enough to take this crucial decision for yourself. If you keep your ideas organised, and follow a systematic approach to the task at hand, you will surely follow the right path.
Here is a comprehensive 7 step guide to channelize your disoriented thoughts into the right direction-
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR LINE OF STUDY
In today’s professional world, steadiness of character and mind is most respected. It is best to have it very clear in your mind, as to what you wish to study and how the particular course will help in your education/career progression. Be confident of which subject/course you wish to pursue, and why. This is the foundational step in choosing which college will suit your requirements the best.
STEP 2: LIST OUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Make a comprehensive list of what you hope for, or expect from your potential institute. Note down the kind of exam pattern you want (semester/annual), the locations you would prefer (in town, out of town, out of country), and what kind of student culture is appropriate (political, apolitical, academically oriented, sports oriented). It is crucial that you have your own priorities set straight, lest your mind get diverted by fancy words on brochures.
STEP 3: RESEARCH. RESEARCH. RESEARCH.
According to your requirements, gather the relevant names and details of universities/colleges. Research, on ground and online. Keep in mind sound recommendations, seek guidance from your old teachers/professors/alumni/parents/experienced siblings, or take counselling from career experts if required. You may want to go to certain colleges and check out their campuses, or even talk to their specific departments and faculty. Take relevant advice and then use it wisely.
STEP 4: PRIORITISE- ACADEMIC GOALS
This category of prioritising includes: (i) Faculty (ii) Placement Cell (iii) Scholarships. Your main aim should be to decide on a college that vouches for competence on all three aspects. One can always find out how respected a college’s faculty is. Look for an institution that has a decent (if not high) standard of hiring teaching staff. Also, without a decent placement cell in the college, the procedure of finding good jobs after the completion of your course may become tedious. If a college promises good placements, it is more often than not, a good option to choose. The financial aspect also needs consideration, since many students may need waivers on high fees, according to their financial background. Validate your need for the same while making your selections.
STEP 5: PRIORITISE- NON ACADEMIC GOALS
All work and no play, make Jack a dull boy. As a relevant condition, you must look into the non- academic activities of the colleges you shortlist. Look out for extra- curricular activities, Skill Societies, and hostel and canteen facilities. Is the college in a safe area? Are options for hostels/PGs/ transportation easily available around the campus? These are some important questions that need answering. Your college life is way more than simply classes and homework/self- study. So focus on the social aspects also.
STEP 6: SHORTLIST YOUR CHOICES
Make a list of the ones that fit the bill according to Steps 4 and 5. List out the pros and cons for each; this will help you narrow down the list at the end. Make sure you keep only those colleges on the list that you are satisfied with. After all, these are going to be some crucial years for your future.
STEP 7: TRAFFIC LIGHTS
Divide all the chosen names into three categories- (i) Red (ii) Yellow (iii) Green.
The colleges that are tough to get into but are high priority, go into the Red list. The colleges where you have a fair chance of getting admission, go into the Yellow list. The colleges you are sure to get admission in easily, go into the Green list. Keep four to five options in each list. Now you know how to channelize your efforts and energies (work hardest to get into the colleges from the Red list), and what chance you stand in every campus.
Above all, have faith in yourself and do not take unnecessary stress. Work hard and then hope for the best. Follow these steps and simply go for it. Your efforts will bear fruit in no time. All the best.