Column: Don’t stress about college decisions


The five-story building houses 16 teaching laboratories and 90 faculty and staff offices. Courtesy / Grand Valley State University

Maddie Zimmerman, Columnist

When it comes to college, there are a million questions that people may ask you; Where are you going to school? What are you majoring in? Who are you rooming with?”

Suddenly I felt as if my relatives or neighbors were bombarding me with questions about my future. Back then I had answers to just about two of them. I knew I was going to Grand Valley State University but I had no idea what for.

I still don’t know my path and that is okay. High school builds up college by saying you have to know your major before you apply to schools. You also need to do amazing on the SAT or ACT to get accepted. Then you have to apply to every single scholarship you find.

News flash, you don’t have to stress yourself out. There is so much pressure that high school and society throws onto teens about college. It is overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. 

I’m here to tell you that it gets better. Once you decide on colleges that interest you and apply, the process is already slimming down.

You have to take it step by step. One thing that helped me calm my nerves was the “three rule.” Will this matter in 3 minutes, days, weeks, months, years? This will help calm you down.

State testing such as the ACT or SAT doesn’t determine your self-worth. I can’t tell you how many times I took the ACT and cried because I didn’t get the score I wanted. My parents signed me up for ACT classes and they were a nightmare. I made a bigger deal about a test score than I should have. Never tear yourself apart for a state test score. The test knows nothing about you as a person. Those never determine your self-worth.

Instead of freaking out, take a deep breath and just relax. You are going to be okay! Plus, a lot of colleges aren’t even requiring them anymore (of course, they institute this changer after I applied). 

There are so many decisions that you have to make to go to college you don’t have to know the answers to all of them. I’m a current sophomore and I’m still not set on my major.

You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself. I never really knew how many people changed or second-guessed their majors until I came to college. It is 100% normal to not know your life path at 17 or 18 years old.

Overall, there are so many decisions you have to make when it comes to college. Make them one at a time. You don’t have to know your entire future down to a tee your senior year of high school. If your friends make it seem like they have it all figured out, they don’t. No one knows exactly how their future is going to play out.

Everyone has a different path and timeline. Take a deep breath and make the decisions for yourself and your future.