The wrong college? Some warning signs:
A college freshman may begin to wonder at some point during the year if the institution they are attending is indeed the right one for them. The homesickness faze is over and they have settled into a routine well enough, but something still doesn’t feel right. It could be that the college is not a good fit for them. Here are some signs they have picked the wrong college.
Too close to or too far from home:
If family and high school friends are extremely important to the student and they feel cut off because they are to far from home to visit on a regular basis? Perhaps they should have picked a college close enough to allow them to drive home or catch a ride a weekend or two a month.
Are mom and dad, siblings or friends dropping by unannounced on the weekends or during the week, disrupting study schedules or social plans? If this is causing tension, then chances are that the best choice for this student would be a college a little further away.
Climate is causing distress:
Is the student an avid skier who is miserable because they have suddenly realized that it never snows at their new location? A college in the mountains might better suit their needs so that they may continue to enjoy an activity that has brought them so much pleasure in the past.
How about someone who doesn’t like the cold suddenly finding themselves housebound because it snows much of the school year? Continuing their education in a climate warm enough so they feel comfortable leaving the dorm and socializing more might be in order here.
Feeling out of place socially:
Has the student made any new friends that share the same interests? If after a few months attending college there is still no one they really want to spend their free time with they may need to reassess the make up of the student body. Are there many others there that share the same background, culture or religion?
Extracurricular activities don’t match interests:
The clubs or sports teams are not living up to what the brochures promised and the student’s high expectations are not being met. While college is mostly about academics, a well rounded individual naturally will expect to have extracurricular activities that are interesting on a personal level.
The level or type of instruction is not meeting current needs:
If a student is bored in more than one class or finds that the programs offered no longer meet their needs because of a change of major or other redefining of academic goals, this is a sure sign that the wrong college has been chosen. A college with more rigorous course work or more compatible program should be sought.
For most incoming freshmen college is a time for adapting to many new changes. After the initial settling in period, it may become apparent for a number of possible reasons that the college they have chosen is not a good fit. Clearly defining the reason for the disparity is the first step in deciding whether they should try a different approach to making their current location work, or consider changing colleges.