The Choice is Yours
April 16, 2021
Congrats! To all of our undergraduate admitted students, you’ve made it! It’s been a long season of submitting applications and putting yourself out there, and now the power is in your hands. You get to choose where you want to go to school next fall.
Pursue your passions — With whatever choices you have available to you, remember that this is a time to learn. Part of why I chose USC as an undergrad school is because I was able to pursue OT, and at the same time, I didn’t have to give up my passion for music. I could be a part of the Trojan Marching Band and pursue a minor in Musical Studies. Since my faith is also important to me, I found Christian community at my school to support me. I looked for a school where I could continue to do what I loved. Consider what other classes you might want to take for fun, what clubs are available, and what life on and off campus might look like. You can even take a tour if you want to hear a student perspective!
Give yourself space to grow — I was nervous to choose such a large school. I came from a small city where the people I knew senior year, I had known since at least sixth grade, if not elementary school. But in the end, I decided that I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, to be okay with knowing when to advocate for myself and ask for help and to meet new people. Think about ways that you would like to grow. Even if a school doesn’t seem like a perfect fit for who you are now, would it push you to become someone you want to be?
Money, money, money — Finances are always a factor when considering schools. That’s why you should also consider that there are resources like scholarships, financial aid, and work study to support whatever decision you make. Personally, I found different scholarships and student jobs throughout undergrad and even now. The Chan Division provides some scholarships specific to the division. You can also find other scholarships associated with USC, and even more outside of the university!
It’s not the end — It may seem like you have to make a decision for the next four years of your life, so maybe it will surprise you to hear that whatever you choose, you’re not stuck in your decision. Many schools have transfer processes for both simple changes like switching majors to deciding to go to another university. Even beyond undergrad, you may have even more opportunities in your future choices (like which grad school you want to attend to pursue OT)!
Prioritize — There are many factors playing into your decision, and the ones listed above are only some of them. Maybe you want to stay in-state, or maybe you want to get as far away from home as possible for the next four years. Maybe you’ve had a dream school since you were little, but you’re not sure if it’s the right fit now. Take a deep breath. Figure out which of these factors is the most important for you to prioritize.
There’s a lot to think about, and it is a big decision. Be sure to get input from people you trust. But remember that in the end, this is your choice! And from here, there’s going to be so much to look forward to!