Understanding academic pressure when college shopping

Factors to Consider When Selecting a College - ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT

The process of choosing a "best fit school" includes finding a college that is a good academic fit. Many students have not decided on a major and if you haven't, that's okay. The obvious part of academic fit is choosing a college that has all of the majors and minors you think you might be interested in studying.

But the less obvious part of academic fit is understanding the academic environment of the schools that are on your college list. This means that you should feel comfortable with your own academic abilities in relation to the other students on campus. It also means that when applying, you should be aware of how challenging the course work and experiences will be are and that you are willing and even excited to step into those challenges.

To determine what college environment is right for you, you need to think about the priority you put on academics and the level of academic pressure that motivates you without making you feel stressed out or frustrated. Since college is an academic undertaking, classes and other academic concerns make up the bulk of your collegiate experience. There will be a certain level of pressure, ardor and stress

management at any level of new school environment. Students are adapting to situations and learning lessons about group living, advocating for one's self, learning study skills, and many other things they could not have imagined in addition to learned the course work content, at a college level! Finding the appropriate level of academic challenge is important to your choice of college.

Think about how much academic challenge is right for you.

  • Do you want a college where you must work and study hard?

  • Would you prefer a college where you could earn respectable grades without knocking yourself out?

  • Do you truly enjoy talking about ideas and engaging in deep intellectual discussions?

  • Do you prefer a workload that allows you to also engage in the social and extra-curricular elements of college life?

Also, think about your response to academic pressure and competition from others.

  • Are you at home with a tremendous workload?

  • Do you prioritize well?

  • Can you discipline yourself to study and structure your time?

If all your answers are “yes,” you may want to consider a college with a rigorous academic environment. If, however, you prefer to perform consistently at the top of your class, if you become distraught with grades lower than an A, or if you do not work well under stress, you may respond better in a college with normal academic pressure.

You may still have to work diligently to learn new content in classes and to adapt to learning the skills required of living away from home. However, you may be able to enjoy more of an academic and social balance if you choose to attend a college that has normal academic pressure.

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