College. A word that ignites excitement and anticipation in some and concern and loathing in others. Despite what our opinions of college are it’s where the majority of us will end up. The process of choosing the place we will end up can be quite a daunting task with so many possibilities out there. Thousands of majors, minors, programs, and colleges to pick from...how are we supposed to pick just one? Well lucky for us prospective students colleges provide us with many opportunities to learn what they’re all about and get a feel for what we like.
Websites. Being in the technical age we are, every college available to us has its own website. The websites generally include information about areas of study, school history, campus life, tuition, departments, and ways to get in contact with them. Through these websites you are also able to schedule campus tours.
Campus tours usually begin with a 30ish minute presentation by a former student that includes a brief introduction to the campus and a discussion about the application process. You (and the other students/parents attending) are then escorted around the campus by a current student. They show you the different departments, the library, the student union buildings, the gym, and the dorms. They then take you back to where the tour began and you and your parents are able to ask any questions the tour guide might not have answered. Some colleges also offer some swag at the beginning of the tour to sweeten the deal.
If you happen to know what area of study you’re interested in it is also possible for you to reach out to the head of a department and inquire about meeting with some professors. Not all colleges offer this but if you are able to set it up I highly recommend it. The professors are very accommodating and want to do everything they can to entice you to try out their program.
All in all, college should not be something we’re afraid of. We should come at it with an optimistic outlook and take every opportunity presented to us. With so many resources out there for us we have every chance to achieve our goals and make a difference. College is the first big step on that path so lets make sure we pick the right one.