It’s October, and that means that it’s time to get organized so that you can accomplish all that’s a part of the college search AND enjoy your junior year!
It’s way too easy to get caught up in the details (test prep, testing, reviewing college websites and brochures, doing research, visiting campuses), feel overwhelmed, and begin to despair. I’d like to suggest that you take a deep breath and think of the big picture…
With the gorgeous fall weather today, I think about the look and feel of campuses. When you close your eyes and imagine… What type of campus comes to mind? Do you prefer
> traditional, ivy covered buildings or more modern architecture
> a compact campus in a city or one that’s big and sprawling in the countryside?
> a campus busy, teeming with students, or moving at a slower pace?
What feels right to you? Or, is all this talk about environment irrelevant to you?
When I went on my solo roadtrip to check out colleges throughout New England, I saw four different schools in the same number of days. By the time I got to the last school I walked from the parking lot to the admissions office, did my interview, got back in my beloved, secondhand car and headed for home. By the time I got home I decided that I wanted to apply Early Decision to the last school I visited. I gave them a call that afternoon to check that I still had time to do so. I did, and the rest is (happy) history. I have to tell you that the look and feel of the campus were not really important to me… though for some students it makes all the difference…
Figuring out what matter most to you is the key here… Take some time this weekend to get clear on who you are: your strengths, needs, challenges, and wants. As you become clear on who you are and what you want, it becomes easier to sift and sort through the wealth of information available about colleges. Know yourself first and the search becomes simpler!