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How to Survive the College Search

Kaitlyn Craig, Columnist and Human Interest Coordinator

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College. It feels forever away until you are literally a matter of months from it. Then it has a way of smacking into you like a brick wall. If you look at the whole of it all at once, it can be immensely overwhelming. With financial aid, applying for scholarships, applying for college itself, picking the right one for you, and not to mention the daunting task of choosing what you want to do for the rest of your life. But there are some things that help make all these overwhelming tasks much more bearable, and sometimes even enjoyable.

 

College Visits

Most students have had a dream school that they have been dreaming about since they were little, some of them having never set foot on the campus. Then they go on a campus tour and they realize that they really don’t like the college at all, whether it’s the location, or the campus itself, or something else. This is why campus tours are vital to picking the right place to spend your college years. I suggest looking into the universities you are interested in, and making a list of places you would like to visit. You could even apply to all of these places first to narrow the list further. This way, before you travel somewhere, you could have at least a little bit of background information. Also, make a day/weekend of the visit! Spend some time in the town to see if you could picture yourself living there.

 

Take Things One Step at a Time

Like I said before, looking at the big picture can sometimes cause extreme anxiety. This is why you have to take it piece by piece. For example, first decide what you would like to major in. This can be extremely daunting, but it is actually ok to not know that right away. Almost all colleges can let you declare an undecided major for the first year or so, where you work on Gen Ed classes until you decide what you want to do. Then you find colleges that have good programs for what you want to do. This is extremely important, because you want to have a good education in the subject before you go into that field of work. Then when you have gone through the application and admission process, you get to do the more fun things. Like looking at housing, and choosing a roommate and things like that. In smaller steps, these important steps seem much less intimidating.

 

Make the Experience Fun

I know that filling out financial aid forms and scholarship applications are not most people’s definition of fun. But there are many parts of the pre-college experience that can be made into a very fun experience. For example, if you have any friends who go to the school you are looking at, and if after your campus tour you feel you want a more in depth look from a peers perspective, spend the day with that friend. Have them show you around and tell you all of the ins and outs of life there. Go see their dorm and kinda see what living there would be like and if it is truly for you. With the right attitude, you can make a lot of the aspects of this process very enjoyable. You can allow these things to get you excited for this next big step in your life, because though it is kinda scary, it is also super exciting!

 

I am going through the pre-college things right now along with the other seniors here at MCHS, and these are just a few things that I have found help a lot with the process. I hope it can help some other seniors, and maybe even some underclassmen who are beginning to look into schools!

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