Author: Julia Tombari


You’ve heard it so many times. From your parents, to your college counselors, to the schools themselves. The word “fit” is everywhere.  Now that you’ve been admitted to some schools, now becomes the difficult task of selecting which one you will spend the next four years at. This time, as you know, is pretty horrifying.  You may be worried you'll make the wrong decision, or that you won’t be happy. Trust me, we have all been there.

Lots of questions went through my head as I began the discernment process. Will I be happy? Will I make friends? Will the work be too much? Will I find extracurricular activities and clubs that I enjoy? The biggest point that I cannot stress enough is this: Everything will turn out ok in the end. Many students are so caught up in the outside pressures from their parents or peers, or they make a decision based on their future, such as salary or connections. Although yes, your future is important, I am of the belief that college is about becoming a better person and learning from others through studies and extracurricular activities.

Another thing that truly helped me in the discernment process was visiting the schools themselves. No amount of high quality images, videos, or student testimonials can truly help make the ultimate decision unless you put yourself in the campus environment and truly spend a day self-reflecting while on the campus.  When I came to visit Notre Dame, I was immediately drawn to the campus community, the beautiful campus scenery, and the classes I sat in on. Talking to students only reaffirmed my belief that this was a place I could grow as a person and be happy.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to various departments and resources on campus as you are deciding; they are willing to go out of their way to help you during this time.

Notre Dame was a definitive first choice for me. But for many students, weighing three, four, or even five equally good options is normal. It’s important to keep a good level perspective. College is a big time in one’s life but it isn’t the defining moment of one’s academic career as many students seem to think during this time. Reflection is key, and reassessing what one wants to get out of college, and ultimately out of life, is also important. Sometimes it’s the little experiences, such as conversations with students, or the general vibes you get from the campus that truly solidify one’s desire to attend a school.

Although of course I would love you to attend Notre Dame if you have been admitted and are reading this; but fit is still the most important factor. Find a school where you can be the best version of yourself.