By Kalkidan Woubishet
For many students, May 1 is both an exciting and stressful day. The first day to the next four years, in a sense. For me, National College Decision Day was one of the most stressful days, because I struggled with having a gut feeling of “this is my home” when I visited all my final choices. Everyone I had talked to about the process of deciding would always tell me, “When you step on the campus you’ll get a feeling if you belong there.” But, after a week of visiting different schools, the only feelings I had were fatigue, confusion, and anxiety. Some people will have that “feeling,” but for the rest of us who don’t, there are still other ways we can make a confident decision.
For seniors, my suggestion is to make a matrix. On one side, you will list all the schools you are deciding between, and on the other you can list all the features you are looking for in your school. In doing this, you will be able to visually see what school has all or most of the components that are important to you as a future college student. Make time to take a Google Earth tour of the university, explore the schools’ website and programs, and talk to current students to get an insider’s perspective. Through this research you will be able to fill out a comprehensive matrix that can give you that “feeling” of confidence in your decision.
Three years ago, I chose UVA to be my home, and it was truly one of the best decisions I could’ve made for myself, personally and academically. As someone who has dreamed of becoming a CEO since I was 8, I knew I wanted to go into business. However, not many universities have an undergraduate business program. Fortunately, UVA has one of the best ranked undergraduate business programs, with a third-year program that is known for being intimate and immersive. For your entire third year, you will be in a class of approximately 40 people, which allows you to develop strong relationships with your classmates. Additionally, McIntire has a strong and wide alumni network that students can tap into for connections and mentorships. This allows students to gain a deeper look into potential careers and forge relationships before even entering the workforce.
UVA is also the best of both worlds when it comes to its location and size. We have a traditional university that’s fairly big with fierce sports fans, while still being surrounded by the quaint city of Charlottesville. On Saturdays, Grounds will be packed with UVA sports fanatics and students dressed up in orange for game day. For students not interested in sports, there is downtown Charlottesville, The Corner, and historical sites nearby. Between the various sports, productions, and organizations here on Grounds, there is always something to do and ways for students to interact. Through these organizations and events, I have been blessed to meet some of my best friends. So, if you’re looking for a school that affords you both a strong academic and social experience, UVA is the school for you!