Being an 18 year old who had watched one too many teenage romantic comedies, it was very easy for me to picture a college life that contained row of sorority houses, seasonal football games and my first year ending with me having intense eye contact with a guy that every girl wanted but who only wanted me in return. Now let’ get to the real stuff, it’s not like places like that don’t exist, they 100% are real, and hence are shown in movies, granted in a somewhat glamorized fashion. However, it costs to live that life. By the time you or anyone in that institution graduates you would probably end up in thousands of dollars of debt by the end of your basic four year education only to realize that you actually need more education to pay for the loan that you had just acquired.
Assuming that you were an amazing student who made financially smart choices and secured scholarships, grants or had parents who were willing to pay your tuition for you, can you really live that life? If you have been a shy individual all your life, college will not turn you into an extroverted machine, maybe underage drinking can(not condoning that) but college will not. Joining a sorority is not for everyone. Even though it may seem idealistic but you may join one that collides with your lifestyle, thinking that you can smile more often and attend a million events without hindering your GPA, which is not true.
To sum up, I would like to say, that to pick a college, it is important to know yourself as a person first. If these four years are the only time you would like to “live your life” or make “long lasting relationships” then maybe picking a college that gives you a sense of community is essential. However, if you believe that these four years are only a stepping stone then think smart, and opt for financially smarter choices over emotional ones.