4 Tips for Choosing a School

We are often told to write what we know, our past experiences, our thoughts and opinions. So today, I’m going to go anecdotal on you, and share a story from my past.

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When I was in grade 5, my brother and I started talking about high schools. We were going through a rough patch at the time, and I decided that I didn’t want to go to the same school as him. I pretty much had two options: the school my elder siblings attended, which was the local Catholic school, or an all-girls Catholic school, which happened to be closer to the city, and the provider of my mum’s high school education.

Being the naïve 10-year-old that I was, it didn’t take me long to decide I would go to the school my mother did, purely and simply because it was closer to the city, and therefore would definitely provide me with a better education.

Can you see where I went wrong? Aside from the fact that I thought being closer to the city made you a better student. That I didn’t take a look at the school before deciding it would be my second home for the most defining time of my life.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t choose the school for me. I’m a very academic person, but the College seemed to support vocational and international students more than those with high levels of expectation on their shoulders. They focused on developing their students into respectable young adults, and aside from the fact that they failed miserably, they didn’t place as much importance on academics as they did being polite and attentive. Don’t get me wrong, it will always have a special place in my heart, because the people there were some of the greatest I’ve ever known, but it really isn’t the school for me.

I’ve come to a point in my schooling where I’m just not happy with my education. I need to be challenged, I need to be around like-minded people. I need to have the freedom to learn what I want to learn, not what my school thinks is important (don’t get me started on Religion and Information Literacy classes). I want to be treated as an adult, not a silly little school-girl.

You might be wondering why I’m writing this post. Well, this weekend is the Open Day for the school I want to go to. This school is everything I’m looking for, and seems to provide me with the opportunities I desire. That got me thinking, about why I went to my current school in the first place. And then I thought, you know, there are a lot of people in the same position as me. And I don’t want you to make the same mistake as me. So here are some tips to make sure you choose the right school.

  • Decide what you want from your school. Do you want to learn better study techniques, learn a wide variety of topics, or have a strong pastoral care support group? That was my main problem. I didn’t realise I wanted an academically minded school, because it was never an issue before. Make it an issue.
  • Don’t make assumptions. Just because it’s private, or even in a fancy neighbourhood, doesn’t make it a good school. The opposite also applies. Also, don’t assume your experience will be the same as someone you talked to. Schools can change a lot in a short time.
  • See it first hand. Everyone sees things differently, so try to get out to an Open Day, or request a tour of the school. It’ll help a lot, and you won’t just be seeing what they want you to see. You’ll see the rest of it as well, even if your guide doesn’t realise it.
  • Make your own decision. My dad doesn’t think I really want to go to this school, and that I’m happy where I am. I’m not, I’m just tired of complaining. But don’t let your family, friends or even guides at the school, change your mind without a valid reason. You have to be happy at school, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time there.

So there you have it. What do you think? How did you choose your school, and are you regretting your choice?

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About Katie Walker

Hey, I'm a student. I'm into web development, so currently I'm working on my blog, a few Tumblr themes, and a few web apps for various purposes. It's exciting stuff.

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