Ten Study Tips AND College Decision Drama

Hey everybody!

Final exams are coming up in the next month or two and this morning I was feeling a bit creative so I decided to make a neat video of my top ten study tips! You might ask, why the song “San Francisco?” Well… that’s where I’m headed on the 17th! Remember when I said that I’m 99.997% sure that I will confirm my enrollment at the University of Minnesota? This was on March 27th. On March 28th, University of California: Berkeley released their admissions decisions. And I was accepted as one of four Minnesotan admits to the College of Natural Resources (AHH!).

I wanted to wait until I heard back from every college before confirming my enrollment, but I decided that even if I was accepted, the U would still be my number one choice. After screaming over my acceptance, suddenly my whole universe changed… it was completely overwhelming and I was feeling just about every emotion possible throughout that entire week. This just goes to show that even if you think you’re nearly 100% sure about your college decision, that 0.003% chance IS possible!

That week I went into super-pros-and-cons-list-mode. I used the website http://www.proconlists.com to rank the pros and cons emotionally and rationally. The decision would come out JUST about balanced every single time. I would adjust one of the rankings by one point, and suddenly the U would outshine Berkeley. I would switch another ranking and then Berkeley would outshine the U. So I was, and still am completely and utterly torn in half about the decision.

Berkeley is an AMAZING opportunity. It’s ranked as the number one public university in the nation, the twenty-second best university in the WORLD, and number two in the nation for environmental science, just 0.2 points less than Stanford, and 0.2 points greater than Harvard. My friends say I’d be crazy to turn this opportunity down. The idea of living over 2,000 miles away in four months is just insane to me. I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life and have always been surrounded by my family and friends here. I have such an emotional connection to Minnesota and the U… Moving away from my family, friends, pets, and comfort zone is definitely not ideal. BUT I know that I would make amazing friends at Berkeley, even though it might be ridiculously difficult at first to move out west and start a new life. That’s what I originally wanted to do though; to have the experience of moving somewhere completely new and away from what I’m used to. Now that I’m faced with the decision, I have no idea what to do!

The largest barrier is the money. It’s expensive. Let’s put it this way… I could be over 220,000 dollars in debt after going to Berkeley for four years to get one degree (an impressive degree!) and have a life-changing experience. Or I could stay at the U for four years, get TWO degrees, pay less than half the cost of Berkeley, and graduate with no debt. Surprisingly, when I tell people this, most of them still tell me to go to Berkeley. I only get one college experience in life and Berkeley would definitely offer many things that the U couldn’t.

One piece of advice for everybody making a college decision right now: choose the college that YOU want. The college YOU will be happy at. After hearing from so many people, this was a common piece of advice. Don’t make other people a factor in your decision. Don’t stay in your hometown unless you actually want to. If you want to go out-of-state, then go! You’ll be able to visit and can always move back in four years. If you end up not liking it, you can move back even sooner!

I told my parents that I can’t make the right decision without visiting. I know that Berkeley is a great school, and it sounds like I would love it there, but I really have no idea. For all I know, it might not be a good fit at all. So we planned a little emergency trip to fly into San Francisco (hence the song in my video!) and visit Berkeley for a few days. I’m REALLY hoping that I either love it or hate it so that my decision is easy. I wish ALL seniors the best of luck, and I know how tough it can be. Lay out all the pros and cons, and you might see that one of the choices stand out among the rest. If not, visit if you can. If you can’t picture yourself there then maybe it’s not right for you, no matter how good of a school it might be. Just choose the place that you will be happy at!

Until next time,

Anna 🙂

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