Get Smart – Jamie Wallace

college-visitsIt’s Spring Break, one or two glorious weeks to do nothing but catch up on sleep, assuming you do not have sadistic teachers. (I apologize in advance to teachers, but kids need a break.)
Here’s a novel concept for high schoolers, go visit a college or two.
College visits are free, which is a great place to start. Either go on an organized tour or just wander around by yourself. Get the feel of the campus. Do you like the location? Are there enough trees and grass? Do you want modern shiny buildings, or a mix of old and new? Do you want to be able to walk off campus into an urban landscape? Do you want a bit of a buffer between school and the “real world?”

What are the students doing? Are they walking with their heads down and permanent creases in their foreheads? Are they playing Quidditch? Are they whizzing by on bicycles? Are they walking around in small groups discussing something, waving their hands around to make a point? Do people stop and ask if you need help? Is anyone smiling?

Stop a random student and ask why they chose to go to this particular college.

Want to stay near home,? Look at schools around you. For Culver City and Los Angeles the choices are many from public to private, 2-year and 4-year. Check out the ones you know like UCLA, USC, CSU Long Beach, Santa Monica College, and Loyola Marymount. Check out ones you haven’t heard of like CSU Channel Islands, University of Redlands, Occidental, or Marymount located in Palos Verdes.
If you ant to venture a little further afield, go out of town to CSU San Luis Obispo, San Diego State, the Claremont colleges, Cal Poly Pomona, University of San Diego.

It is easy to set up a tour. Go to the college website and look for “Visit.” See when they have tours and register for one. If the tours are all booked, don’t let that stop you. Go anyway. People don’t always show up for their tour, see if there is room. If there isn’t, get a map and go on a self-guided wander.

Can you picture yourself there? Those students walking past you are only a couple of years older and they were in your shoes not that long ago.
Jamie Wallace
Get Smart for College
Independent Educational Consultant
Jamie is a UCLA trained educational consultant.
[email protected]

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