College Visits Galore


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Attention all high school smart girls! Whether you’re a freshmen or a junior, college is probably on your mind. Where do you even begin?! Everyone will tell you that you have plenty of time to figure out where you want to go to college but to be frank with you, time in high school seems to be going at the speed of light. However do not fear because I am about to give you some amazingly valuable tips and steps that will put you ahead of the pack when it comes to finding the perfect college!

#1: What do want to major in?

I am super fortunate because I have known that I want to pursue a career in nursing since my first day of kindergarten and I’m sure that some of you may be the same way. However if you have absolutely no idea don’t freak. Think about what interests you the most. Are you super passionate about the environment? Then consider a major in environmental science. Are interested in computers? Then think about pursuing a major in computer software engineering. Trust me there are plenty of majors to choose from. If you still have absolutely no clue that’s ok too. I’ll let you in on a little secret. For the first two years of college most of the courses that you will be taking are pre- requisites for a degree no matter what your major is. I know plenty of people who have gone into college with an undeclared major and they have turned out fine. I also know people who have gotten to college and have changed their major multiple times. In the end you have to do what makes you happy.

#2: What schools offer you’re major?

Now that you have an idea as to what you want to major in look at colleges/ universities that offer that major. Big Future by the College Board (https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search) is a great tool that can help you find schools that offer you’re major.

#3: What does geography have to do with it?

Well almost everything. Do you want to get out of town and experience a new place and culture? Or do you want to stay close to home? Do you want to be a car ride or plane ride away from home? If you’re looking at a school thousands of miles away from home then you will have to shell out some major cash to come home for the holidays every year. Is there family near that school? When you end up in the hospital from whatever random act of stupid you participated in (let’s be honest) or when you’re sick as a dog (your friends only love you so much), having Aunt Barb twenty minutes away isn’t a bad thing. Is that school in a climate that I like? If you can’t stand snow then choosing a school in New England probably wouldn’t be a good idea. Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of the city or peace and quiet? North, East, South, or West? These are all things that you need to take into consideration.

#4: Show me the stats!

Each college and university is different. Once you have a list of schools that appeal to you, (see #1 and #3) check out the statistics. The key numbers that I look for are, the average SAT score of students they accept, the number of undergrads, the percentage of full time faculty they have, the freshman retention percentage, average class size, and the average GPA of students they accept.

#5: Visit!

Once you have narrowed down your list go visit those schools. The more interest you show in a school, the more interest they will show in you. Plus you can only tell so much from a computer screen. To really get a feel for the campus environment and culture you have to be there in person. Visiting will also let that college know that you’re serious. When you visit campus try to go when school is in session and catch a guided tour.

I hope that these steps and tips will help you when you start to look at colleges. I’m going through the search right now and it is so exciting! The college search is a stressful process if you let it be. I promise if you follow these steps finding the perfect college for you will be a piece of cake!

Be Smart. Share Smarts.

 

Sarah Gibson

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Sarah Gibson

Sarah is currently a senior in high school and has a passion for dancing, volunteering, and going on adventures. She will be attending Duquesne University in the fall and will be majoring in nursing.