Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"I don't really know how to do this..."

WHEW! So the rest of the summer obviously flew by without a single blog post from me. I was too busy soaking up the remainder of the sun, lake swims, sweaty outdoor runs and starry nights!

Here's a final summer photo with my good friend and SMC Admissions colleague, Katherine. She joined me on many of my late summer adventures, including a trip to Bristol Falls (really cool swimming holes and small jumps about 45 minutes south of SMC), a trip to the Champlain Valley Fair and a birthday celebration for on of my roommates, which is where we were during this photo!
So now, on to the point of the post...

I have officially started my travel season! I am currently blogging from Rockland, MA where I will be for the remainder of this week. I overheard something today from a student at one of my visits that I wanted to share...when I asked her if she had any questions for me, she simply answered "I don't know, I don't really know how to do this!"

This being the whole college process, meeting with counselors, filling out applications and trying to have a clue what you're going to do after high school...and it's OK not to know exactly what to do - how would you? You've never done anything like it before!

So, here are my top 5 suggestions of questions to ask a college representative when you meet with them - because that is all you really need to know "how to do!"

1. What makes your school unique? Anyone who is passionate about the school that they work for will have an interesting answer to this one!

2. What academic activities are available outside of class time for your students? This could be anything from academic advising to individual research to speakers to the Science Club...it's important to continue learning outside of class time, so it's good to know what each school offers.

3. What do students typically do on the weekends? Do they go home? Go off campus for meals and shopping? Study? Throw parties? It's important to know what your weekends will be like.

4. What is the most underrated thing about your school? Every school has things that don't get lots of press but are worth knowing about. For SMC, I think it would be our library. Not only is it a beautiful, sunny place to get work done, but it also becomes its own buzzing academic community each afternoon and into the late hours of the night. You are just as likely to see someone studying along as you are to see someone getting a visit from a friend or a snack dropped off by the person who always studies next to them. It's the heart of our small community each weekday evening!

5. Why should I go to ________? You will get lots of interesting rationale for this question, from majors and class sizes to weekend events and local towns. Always ask this one to get the real scoop on what makes a school a good fit!