You don't want to end up unhappy in college. So think twice if you find yourself choosing (or rejecting) a school for any of the following reasons.
Romance. It's tempting to choose a college just to be with a special person. But right now that special person is you! Choose a school that is best for your future.
Your friends are going there. It's tough to leave your high school friends. But making new friends is one of the best benefits of college!
Beautiful people, or lack of them. If you prioritize dating over studying, your stay in college may be short.
College rankings. Some students make decisions based on rankings and reputation. Even parents get caught up in the same factor. If you don't base your choice on a well-researched idea of fit, you may end up miserable at even the most prestigious college.
It will make my parents happy. Of course you and your parents should make every effort to come to a decisio that makes all of you happy. But remember, what matters the most is whether you like it.
There is something I didn't like when I visited. Another bad reason to reject a school because the weather was bad on the day of your visi, or you didn't like the tour guide. If a school seems a good fit in every way but didn't feel right when you visited, visit again!
It's too big or too small. Look twice at small colleges. Many do everything they can to make their campuses vibrant on nights and weekend. On te other hand, campuses that seem too big have options such as honor colleges that give you a small college experience in a big campus setting.
Choose a college for the right reasons - one that fits you well academically, personally, and financially.