Thinking and Language Project

By:Paige Thompson

My concept/prototype of college

Through my peers, I've heard a wide range of things about the college life, most of which consists of having to work non-stop. It seems as if there isn't going to be much to do, because studying will engulf my life. College will definitely be a huge reality check for me, it'll be the first time I have to be independent in my life, without having my parents by my side doing things for me. Despite the cons of college, I know it'll be the experience of a lifetime, where I'll have the opportunity to meet all sorts of new people. The expenses, and hardships will be well worth it when I achieve my dreams.

Trial and Error

Through the process of determining which college I will attend, I feel like the trial and error method will help out a lot. Choosing the right college is very serious, and requires lots of time to make sure that whichever college I choose has most of my preferences/ is the best choice for me. There's a lot to take into consideration, such as which college has the best program of what I'm going for, how far it is from home, housing situations, and far more things. Using the trial and error method would help in the sense that if some colleges don't work for me, I'll just move on to the other options until I find one I love.


Algorithms is by far the most accurate problem solving method, but it's also the most time consuming. I haven't really applied this method all that much in picking a college, but I know if I did it would be the most helpful. This method involves focusing on one college at a time, and depicting every aspect of it, until you come to a final decision. The reason I haven't used algorithms is because I can never just research/focus on one college at a time, I'm always jumping from one to another, looking at different aspects of it, not just a couple in particular.


Heuristics is the quickest problem-solving method because it excludes having to really take any steps(such as the ones used in algorithms). This method would make things a lot easier than the other ones do, but it also has a lot more room for error to occur. Choosing college is one of the biggest decisions I'll make in my life, not only because of how much it'll cost, but because it'll be my home for a minimum of 4 years. Picking where to go right off the back without much research/ background knowledge of the college seems very unreasonable.


Choosing which college I'd like to attend off of insight, would probably lead me to choose the college of my dreams(without taking anything into consideration). Most of my family is from Kansas, and several of them have attended college at the University of Kansas, which has always made me think that it'd be a good fit for me as well. I've always thought KU would be the college I end up at, because it's really the only one that I've ever looked into. Thinking that I know what college I'd go to has always made things seem easier, because I felt as if I were a step ahead of everybody else.

Confirmation Bias

Although I have a few options of which colleges I want to attend, the most expensive of them all is obviously the University of a Hawaii. In order to increase my chances of being able to attend there, I always search for scholarships I can apply for in order to lessen the expenses for my parents. What I've never given thought to is, the fact that there's a chance that I may not even receive certain scholarship money even if I apply for them. Despite not being sure of some things, I still search for every opportunity available that will allow me to go to UH.

Fixation/Mental Set

As far as having options for college, I haven't really looked into many except for the 2 I've always dreamed of going to KU or the University of Hawaii. I've always thought of myself as being a beach bum(attending school in Hawaii), or going to KU to follow in my family members footsteps. Having this sort of mindset isn't all that good though because I may love a college other than KU or the University of Hawaii, but I've never really looked into others because I've been so set on the same 2 for forever. I have to be able to see things from a new perspective, in order to make the best choice possible.


Having Hawaii as an option has a huge part to do with my intuition. The main reason I want to go is because of the beautiful beaches/lifestyle that's there, I've never actually thought things through. As I've mentioned plenty of times before, choosing where to attend college is a huge decision, that needs to be done with careful reasoning, in which intuition excludes. As I get closer and closer to applying, I've realized that going with my intuition is definitely not the smartest path to take.

Representative Heuristic

To me, it seems like somewhere along the path of choosing a college, mostly everybody has used representative heuristic, whether or not they realized it. In particular, I know I have because it's so easy to overestimate the outcome of things, when you've had a specific outlook all along. Without really looking into specifics of KU and UH, I've always thought that whichever one I went to, would be perfect, just because of how other people make it seem. Now that the end of my high school career is nearing, and I've actually began to really observe things, going to UH is expensive as it is, but along with being out of state makes things even more expensive, which may have to rule out my dream school.

Availability Heuristic

Picking a college has always seemed like it'd be an easy decision to make, but it's most certainly not. Seeing all of my friends who're upperclassmen choose a college has made it seem like a breeze, until I was actually put into their position. Choosing the right college is really time consuming, some colleges that I thought I could possibly see myself at were finally ruled out because I looked at more than just the pictures of their campus. Just because you've seen it easily be done by somebody else, isn't the case for all people.


I never thought I could actually be overconfident when it came to looking at colleges, until it actually became crunch time for me. I thought the college I would attend would fall right in front of me, and everything would be good and done. It's now junior year and I still have no clue where I truly want to attend/be accepted to. Looking back now, I wish I would have chosen a few reasonable/serious choices(besides KU and the University of Hawaii)so it could have made this process a lot easier.
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Belief Perseverance

Belief perseverance is an effective tool to use in a personal aspect, but not so much of a social one. Up to this point, I have realized that belief perseverance is something that I've been using all along when it has come to thinking about a college that I could see myself at. Every time I have mentioned wanting to attend the University of Hawaii to somebody, the most asked question has been "Could you really deal with not being able to just drive home to see your family?" Of course I always said that I could make it work, just because I was only thinking about living in Hawaii, and not about things that actually need to be taken into consideration.

Did you make any compensations when deciding where to attend?

Although I haven't chosen/applied to any colleges yet, upon doing this project, I have ruled out having UH as a main option. I feel as if I've only been wanting to go there thinking about how cool it'd be to live on the beach, and not thinking about the whole schooling aspect. I have to choose a college based on how much it'll benefit my success, not my tan. I know that there's plenty more amazing options,I just have to focus on finding the right one.