So, it's decision time. Well, it's not really decision time for a couple more months. What happens between now and May 1 will have a major impact on your next few years. What do I always do before a big decision? INFORMATION, INFORMATION, INFORMATION!
Figure out what is important to you. Make a list of your values. What is important to you for a school to offer? For the students around you to care about? Do you want to know the Deans? Do you want to have an impact? Do you want Big Ten sports? Then, find somewhere that matches those values. Listen closely to what each campus prides itself in. Are the professors the best thing? The students? The facilities? What do you value?
Here's why I picked Illinois...
I was between lots of different schools, big and small. I did not know if I wanted to go to a big school with tons of opportunities, but where I might fall between the cracks, or a small school, where I would get to know my professors, advisors, etc.
What I found at Illinois was that I didn't have to choose! The College of Business has 3000 undergrads. You get to know everyone in the College. You know your advsiors, you know the Deans, you know your professors, and you meet your best friends. I live with business majors, hang out with them over the weekends, and study with them. It is an absolute small school feel.
Then, on the other hand, I'm part of a Big Ten community. I go to football games with 60,000 screaming fans and am part of amazing traditions. We have access to over 1,000 Registered Student Organizations that literally offer anything and everything you can think of. We have best in class Research opportunities. Oh yeah, and people here are amazing.
Where else do you get to meet with the Associate Dean of the Undergraduate program one-on-one starting from Day 1, do top-tier research with your professors, and spend your Saturday afternoon at a Big Ten football game?
Say it with me...