College: Part I

I apologize for the complete lack of recent posts.  I’ve been busy in training 9-5, riding my horse (before 9 am, I might add), and getting the house ready for first years to move in.  Which they have started to do – today!

Seeing all this moving in is reminding me of my own college search (and of course college shopping, moving in, and figuring out how to set up the room).  This post is part one of a (soon-to-be) ongoing series all about college (equally applicable to high school, moving into a new apartment/house, and keeping your office organized.  Of course):  the college search.

Never mind all that business about deciding how many schools to apply to, figuring out which schools to visit, and dealing with the Common App.  This is purely about how to organize your college visits.  One word:  folders.  But what to put in the folders?

Once you have decided what school(s) you want to visit, do a little research.  Are there any other colleges nearby which might be worth checking out?  For instance, I go to Smith College, which is in the 5 College Area.  I visited Amherst and Smith when in fact the only college I originally wanted to visit was Mount Holyoke – but the other schools were so close it just made sense.  Plan your visits so that you can check out several colleges per trip, if feasible.

Next, print out directions (double-sided, of course!).  Put those in the folder.  Visit the school’s website, and print out a campus map.  Find the Admissions Office and circle it.  If the school needs you to sign up for an interview and/or a specific tour/info session time, do so – and print the itinerary.  If not, write down the times of the tours and the information sessions, so you have some flexibility.  If you will be interviewing, make sure you have a copy of any materials you’ll want to show the interviewer in the folder.  And finally, if you will be staying at a hotel, make sure you have directions from campus to the hotel.  The same applies for visiting several colleges – print out directions between the schools!

Finally, label the folder (in big letters) with the name of the college you will be visiting.  Any business cards or handouts you get during the visit should also go in the folder, so that when you get home and need to write thank-yous, you have all the information you need in one spot.  If you’ve visited more than one school, you’ll have kept everything separate so are less likely to mix things up.  The folder serves as a handy little tool to remember details of your visit, so that when it comes time to choose a school, you have that much more to help you out!

Organizedly yours,

L.

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