Choosing the Right Universities

November 2011 Zoki Phantom (Hufflepuff)

Like it or not, we all grow up to the age when we need to decide what we will do for the rest of our lives, and as if that’s not a hard enough task, we are also left pondering where our last years of education will take place.

Instead of making the decision right away, whether based on what your parents say (which one should never let happen) or what you yourself think, there are certain things you need to take in consideration. Below you will find a list of cons that you must avoid, as opposed to the pros that should help you make the right decision.

DON’T follow your friends!
This is unfortunately the biggest mistake people make. You’re not sure what you want to study, nor where, so you just decide to go with the flow and copy your friends’ decisions. Well that might have worked for Harry Potter when he copied Ron Weasley’s subjects, but it doesn’t work in reality sadly. One needs to remember that this is a one-time decision – sure, you could switch Universities afterward, or start all over, but you lose a lot of valuable time; and that’s why you need to go with your own thoughts, and not use others’ ideas. You need to find your interests and best abilities and go according them, otherwise you’ll be stuck in someone else’s nightmare, instead of living your dream.

DON’T follow the butterflies!
Everyone thinks that it’s a much better option when the city is all lovely and has breath-taking views, which can definitely be argued. If the city is wonderful, doesn’t it imply that you’ll be spending more time enjoying its beauty than studying? If it’s wonderful, how will you feel if your future job ends up in a worse place?

What some fail to realize is that in this case you need to follow the spiders – education isn’t an easy and lovely adventure, it’s a hard challenge with a great outcome, but you’ll never fulfill the quest unless you fully concentrate on it. That’s why you need to forget all the commercial material where they try to lure you with the wonderful surrounding. Sure, you might feel more comfortable to study there while you enjoy the beauty, but keep in mind that for most people the beauty will only be a distraction.

DON’T be fooled by math!
Although many universities will show you great statistics and facts about themselves, you shouldn’t take these too seriously. Of course, they could help you decide which university looks better, but never play with chances. Even if the percent of students who find a job after their graduation is 99%, who says you won’t be part of that unfortunate 1%? While stats shouldn’t be just thrown away as false, don’t get your hopes and expectations up before you’ve even started your studies. If you’re really ambitious you’ll exceed no matter where you go, so it’s up to choose whether you want a more suitable or more reliable route.

DON’T forget Gringotts!
Money doesn’t grow on trees, sadly, so you must be sure to check out the payment information for all the universities. And don’t forget to increase that amount for other student costs and key things like accommodation and food. The goblins were right when they became protective of their work, because a student’s life is expensive and you can’t just go around wasting a treasure that you don’t even have. There are of course these lovely things known as scholarships, which may help you out in this case, if you’ve been a good enough kid for Santa to bring you one. Or you could just find yourself a part-time job or one that fits with your schedule. It would really ease up the heat off your pocket.

DON’T mess with time!
You knew that was coming, right? While you should really give yourself time to think deeply before making the decision, don’t get time fly away from you. There are many universities where the registration starts even a year before the actual enrollment, and in some cases this is also the starting date for applications with the possibility for scholarships, while the later registration periods don’t provide any of those. So get your thoughts straighten up and well, if you’re in your senior high school year, you should already starting looking at various universities.