Professor Roberts, there is so much information coming at me from so many different directions. Magazines rank colleges, college brochures are telling me how great they all are, and my friends want me to go to the college they are going to be attending.
The first thing you need to do is change the way you think about a college degree. Realize that the most important thing about the degree is what it can do for you after you graduate. The “four-year experience” that the college tries to sell us is of little consequence when making your decision. You must be totally focused on your needs, especially in light of the fact that your so-called experience will cost in the neighborhood of $200,000. The college is a business. It will say and do whatever it needs to get you to attend the school and pay your money. If the college does not satisfy your career needs, do not attend it.
Your high school friendships should have no bearing on your college decision. Where your friends go to college is of no consequence. In fact, there is a good possibility that you will not even have the same friends when you graduate in four years, even if you all attend the same school. You made your selections for friends in high school primarily for social reasons. You will make your selections for friendships for self-fulfillment and professional reasons.
Your college decision must be geared only to your needs.