|Posted on March 20, 2017 at 1:15 PM|
Spring break is coming! Like you didn't know! It's this week to a few weeks off for most all students across the U.S. While this might be a time to go on a vacation just for fun, how about taking a vacation and making an investment in your future at the same time? Whether you are in seventh grade or a senior in high school, part of this time could be spent visiting a college campus near where you are vacationing, or to make the purpose of your vacation an exploration of those schools that have admitted you for next Fall.
It is important to get on a scheduled tour of a college, especially if you have been admitted. A phone call to the Admissions Office or checking on-line for scheduling procedures can help with getting you a spot on a tour in advance of your visit. On tours like this, a student guide takes you around the campus, showing you highlights and discussing his/her experience as a student there. If it turns out that your intended major is the same as that student's current major, you can ask him/her direct questions about the department and what it's like day to day to be in that major.
If you are younger than a senior, consider the work you have done to date to identify your strengths, weaknesses, your interests, what "rings your bell" and how those items might be expressed on this particular college campus. Do they have at least one major that really interests you? Are you willing to go to the department office and ask to speak to a faculty member, department counselor or someone else who could give you more information? Think of this experience as a scavenger hunt. You are looking for information that would help you consider how appropriate this college might be for you as a future applicant.
Having the character trait of curiosity definitely helps on a college campus visit. You want to know everything you can to decide if this is the place where you will spend at least four years of your life.
To make this experience the most it can be, it helps to do some research at home before you commit to visiting a campus, but it's not manditory. Remember though, as you go through life you will make decisions increasingly on your own. It's a very good idea to start early with habits that help you learn how to make good decisions, not just about where to go to college, but about anything in life.
Whether you stop in at a college near your vacation spot or schedule a tour in advance, you are setting yourself up for a successful college choice when the time comes to actually apply. If you start early, in seventh or eighth grade, you will have literally years of viewing campuses and will make a much better decision when making applications, and will have had fun doing it! A win-win!
As always, I would appreciate your thoughts and comments to this installment of Early Start College Planning.
All the best,
Categories: Early Start College Planning