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Saturday, September 12, 2015
College Visits: Good for the Soul
College is way in the distance in my rearview mirror. The game has changed considerably since then. But fundamentally, that transition is very much the same. Students looking to go away to university are largely facing one of the first big Changes in their lives. Most of that, it turns out, has very little to do with college.
My family has recently began reconsidering a move out of state. It is a big psychological burden. The logistics are almost too heavy to carry. We've combed the internet, surveyed friends, bought books, and even stuck pins in maps. We're still not much closer to a decision. The next step is obvious. We have to hit the pavement.
Which is precisely what this years' high school seniors need to be doing. The stakes may be different, but I'm pretty certain our emotions are very much the same.
The internet is a blessing and a curse. Information is good. Lots of information is, well, kind of stressful. There is peace in every decision. The internet almost offers too many options.
I'm a big believer in getting a feel for the place. You can search the web for tips on touring college campuses. That's not where I'm going with this. I say, pick a handful of places that suit you from a practical perspective-cost, location, fields of study, size. Then go see them. Do sit in on classes. Have a meal in the student common. Take pictures. Check out the surrounding neighborhood.
Can you picture yourself there? It's an important question to ask. There's a lot of value in gut instincts.
And remember this. It's easy to make a bad decision, but it's hard to make a wrong one. Life isn't always predictable, but with some well reasoned choices, it's okay to take the leap. The net will appear.
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