May I just take a moment to give a word of advice to high school seniors who aren’t quite sure what they want to do in college.
Go to community college.
For the first year or so, attend your local community college. “But Alister, all my friends are going to prestigious universities. Also I’ve heard that only the people who can’t get in to a good school go to community college! What will it say about me if I go?” That you’re a smart individual who knows how to manage your academic track as well as spend your money wisely. THAT’s what it’ll say about you if you go, and here’s why:
College is expensive. This is going to be a given fact no matter where you plan to attend, but community college is NOT NEARLY AS EXPENSIVE. In fact, with some good high school grades and a well-written cover letter to your state senators and delegates, you can round up enough scholarships to attend community college for a FRACTION of what it would have cost you in any other state school. See that screenshot above? That’s my tuition bill for this past semester at prince george’s community college. I only had to pay $35 dollars out of my wallet.
As a college student, whether you attend community college or an Ivy League school, you will be required to take gen eds/core curriculum classes in order to graduate. These classes include subject areas like math, english, social sciences, etc. Get a lot of your gen eds out of the way during your first few semesters of college, since you probably don’t have a decided major at this point anyway. You will be taking credits that you can then later transfer to another school of your choosing, and still be right on track for graduation. You can spend a little amount to take your required classes at community college, rather than spending full tuition at a state university to take the same classes.
While you’re there, you can also dabble in a few introductory courses to different areas that interest you. Maybe you like forensics, or art, or psychology? Take a few classes to get your feet wet and see if it’s really something you’d like to study. Chances are, a few of those interests will end up being more of a hobby to you, while others will really click and you’ll find that you can see yourself pursuing that academic track.
You might be a sophomore or a junior at this point but you’ll have all your required classes out of the way AND you’ve had a chance to explore different courses and interests, all for a ton less money. NOW is when you transfer to your school of choice, with your gen eds completed and your major picked, and you won’t waste any time getting into the classes that really interest you.