Ok, thanks for coming back for part two (if you missed part one, look below) on my thoughts on choosing a college. Here are the last 4 of the 8 BIG THINGS to be thinking about to narrow your search.
5. ENERGY. Does the campus have the kind of vibe you are looking for? I know this is such a subjective measure, but consider this: energy will determine so many of your individual choices in your life. You will graviate toward the poeple, places, activities that inspire you – if fact, they seem to be choosing you as you are choosing them! As you meet the students on a prospective campus, can you see yourself hanging out with them, learning from them? Did you like the professors and the staff? Do you know any alumni of the school. Do they inspire you? What about student life? Do they have a club for you, student government, the student paper? Is it easy to get involved? These are very important considerations.
6. ACADEMICS. For many, academics will be at the top of the list. And it should be, this is the number one reason to attend university. Academics is learning to learn; it’s critial thinking applied over and again; it’s gathering a set of skills for professional use; it’s problem-solving; it’s the lifeblood of what universities do. No one is ever asked to leave a university because they did not join enough clubs, but certainly students have been asked to leave for not having attended enough classes. Faculty and students are at the core of what we do, so make sure your future college has a program (a major) that appeals, and several others that could appeal (some students change majors during the course of their enrollment).
7. ACADEMIC EXPERIENCES. Academics gets two spots in our list of eight because of its importance to the campus and the student experience, and it’s not just lectures and papers. It’s study abroad opportunities; it’s undergraduate research; it’s internships; and opportunities for career networking; it’s mentoring and advising. It’s all the things that we talk about when we say Loyola offers a holeistic experience.
8. LEARN FROM OTHERS. Families, counselors, and teachers can help students answer this question: can this university prepare me for life and work in an ever-changing world? Sometimes we don’t see things clearly for ourselves, so it’s always good to rely on the experience of those who know us and who can see how our expierences might play out on a given campus. Don’t be afraid to ask for help on this journey! Call our admissions office, too. We’re here to help!
Good luck as you choose your college. It’s an exciting time in your life, and I know you’ll make the most of it!