You want to see which colleges fit? Go to the people you know.

The people around you—your coaches, parents, and friends—know what matters to you. Ask them what they think you’d like in a college. They might picture you at a different size of college or in a different part of the country than what you’ve thought about. They may even have specific schools for you to check out—take their picks and listen to their reasons why. You’re in control of your college search, but it’s good to hear from those who care about you.

You search for colleges that fit you well. To do this, you have to know yourself. Do you like campuses that are packed or quiet? Do you want to be in a huge city or a rural town? Get some extra help with your choices—turn to people who know you, like your parents, coaches, and friends. Ask where they think you’d be happiest with college life. They remember little comments you’ve made in the past and they see things you haven’t noticed about yourself. Give them a chance to say where they think you’d thrive.

A few of them might even have colleges in mind. They think of schools they’ve attended or have heard good things about. If they give you their picks, then get their reasons too and look into the college yourself. If the college looks great, then add it to your list; if not, just scratch it and move on.

There’s no pressure to take everyone’s advice or to please them with your choice. You just want to hear from the people with you every day. They can help you know yourself as you choose a great college team.

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