The student news site of Aspen High School

THE SKIER SCRIBBLER

Three Things I Learned On My College Tour

Advertisement

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






  This year, instead of surfing in San Diego, floating down Cataract Canyon, or even Following the Fork with my classmates, I spent Ex-Ed week on a parent led college tour with my mother. While the prospect of spending seven solid days with my mom was actually vaguely appealing  (nice hotels, fine dining, visits with my older brothers along the way), I kind of dreaded dedicating a week of my life to the pursuit of college. It’s a bizarre concept to think that I was supposed to be shopping for colleges when, in fact, I was really determining whether or not the college would eventually accept me. After a whole lot of soul searching, and various intense conversations with all the friends we visited at different campuses, I came up with three deeply philosophical conclusions about the college touring experience.

   1. The college I attend will not define me!
  According to my parents, 30 years ago the college admissions process was fairly straightforward. It was a competitive process that caused a certain amount of stress, but generally, if a student worked reasonably hard and seemed committed academically and maybe was president of the French Club, there were a number of top schools that were likely options. These days, colleges are receiving record numbers of applications from kids who are all incredibly capable. In one information session I attended last week, students were raising their hands to ask slightly deranged questions about whether a mediocre score on a Biology test their freshman year would hinder their chances of acceptance–or if an illness or injury that resulted in a low-ish AP score could be justified in an application. There was a palpable feeling of anxiety in the room. These kids weren’t shopping for an education; they were desperately figuring out how they stacked up in a wildly competitive and completely unpredictable process. In reality, it is a rare occurrence that anyone graduates high school with a flawless track record, and even if they did, it is still entirely possible that they still wouldn’t be accepted by the college of their dreams. There is so much serendipity involved in the admission process, so many factors beyond our control. Repeat after me: Where I go to college is not a reflection of what I’ve accomplished as a student–and it is certainly not a reflection of who I am as an individual.

   2. College is just one stepping stone along the great journey of life.
  In our high school culture there is so much emphasis placed on the pursuit of college. But the truth is, college is a brief, four year period that is just the first step toward adulthood. There are many other experiences and decisions, both educational and otherwise, that will help shape the future. On my college tour, I got to spend time with kids I know on almost every campus I visited. Many of them were AHS graduates. Some of these students were having life changing, ecstatic experiences. More than a few were a little more mixed—college for them is a big experience but not necessarily the best experience of their lives. They were building a foundation, paving the way for the years to come.

  1. Take notes. After visiting two schools, the college tour becomes a hazy blur.

  In a way, this is a quality problem. Just about every school I visited offers students an excellent academic program, with advisors who care, learning centers that look like the headquarters of Google, and talented professors who love to teach. And they all seem to have libraries that would order you a book from a sister school 100 miles away if the book you are looking for isn’t actually in their collection of a billion books. No matter where you go to school, it’s likely you will receive a fairly stellar education. I took a good look at the course offerings and majors every time I visited a campus to make sure the school had classes and programs that might interest me at this point in my completely unresolved life. And by the way, I can’t say I really know what I want to study in college, I mostly know what I’m NOT interested in. I think. My friends who are in college tell me that this is normal. Almost every school I visited, from the most to the least selective, pretty much fit the bill. I guess this a good sign. No matter where I end up, I’ll probably graduate with a college degree and maybe even a plan for the future.

  Did you tour some colleges this fall? Let me know your observations at

[email protected]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Three Things I Learned On My College Tour

    Arts & Entertainment

    The Best Halloween Costumes For 2017

  • Three Things I Learned On My College Tour

    Opinion

    Editorial: The Gun Control Debate Is Over

  • Three Things I Learned On My College Tour

    Opinion

    How To Survive Senior Year From Someone Who Actually Did

  • Three Things I Learned On My College Tour

    Opinion

    My Cultural Immersion In Fiji

  • Opinion

    How To Style: Current Trends, My School Look Book

  • Opinion

    Advice for Incoming Freshman

  • Opinion

    Miscommunications in the Satire Edition: Editorial

  • Three Things I Learned On My College Tour

    Arts & Entertainment

    Brace for Impact

  • Three Things I Learned On My College Tour

    Arts & Entertainment

    Put Down the Remote

  • Three Things I Learned On My College Tour

    Arts & Entertainment

    A Few Reasons Why to Watch 13 Reasons Why