A Note From Kat: October 2017

Application season is upon us!  Are you doing your research to find the perfect school for you?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to go to a college just because you’ve heard it’s a good school.  I’m the first one to admit that all the colleges that I applied to for my undergraduate degree were either famous or frequently talked about by people I knew. However, once I visited these schools, I realized how little I actually knew about them, and I discovered that most of them were not a good fit for me.

During the application process, I still thought I was going to be a veterinarian, so I was looking at pre-med/pre-vet and biology programs.  However, I soon realized I wasn’t as interested in research opportunities or working in the lab (aside from wearing a cool lab coat with my name on it), as I was in the schools that also had opportunities to take classes in ancient history, theatre, dance, and journalism.

This was my first clue that I wasn’t as interested in science as I believed myself to be. Plus, through the investigation process, I discovered more details about programs that actually appealed to me.  Taking classes in Ancient Greek, studying medieval Europe with a professor who had previously done research at Cambridge, and getting real world experience in broadcast and film production were all specific opportunities I wanted to take advantage of.

Where did I learn that I wanted all of these things?  Well, I wasn’t as well-researched as you’re going to be, but I did read over a lot of websites and brochures. Most importantly, I started asking questions, of myself and of the schools I was researching. What specifically about each school appealed to me? Did it have everything I wanted most?

When I found a college that could answer those questions, I knew I was in the right place.

Ultimately, picking schools based on things like location, student population, and general programs should be a starting point, not the end point.

Investigate further.  Look at the “how to look at a college website” video that’s in your Files and Folders section of your profile for how to dig deeper on a school website.  Ask yourself what you truly want out of a school, out of your education, out of your own experience.  If you can’t identify those points yet, start investigating the different opportunities available to you at different schools.  Look at their research programs, internship programs, institutes, and special events.  If any of them sound fun or interesting to you, take note: it means you’re on the right track.

Talk to us about it too!  We’re here to present every opportunity available to you and to help you discover what you want out of your college experience.

-Kat