7 Things To Actually Ask When Looking At Colleges

7 Things To Actually Ask When Looking At Colleges

Your guidance counselor won't tell you about these.
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We've all been told what to look for in a college all of our lives; the best ratings, the best programs, the best alumni network, the list goes on. But what is actually important to think about when looking at the place you will (hopefully) spend the next 4 years? Let me tell you, I've spent 2 whole semesters in college so I'm basically an expert in these things.

1. What kinds of people are going to this school?

We all know there are party schools and schools full of awkward sci-fi geeks but that's not really important. You should pay attention to the kinds of people you see while you're on tours. At my college, a tour group can expect to see students smiling and saying hi to them and (if we can get the chance) we would love to have a conversation with all of the prospective students about who they are, their passions, etc. Maybe you aren't looking for a school full of people that want to be your family, maybe you're looking for a more face in a crowd kind of feel, it's important to know who you will be around.

2. What are the faculty like in your intended department?

Maybe the school has 10,000 students but only 100 of them are in the department you're interested in. Does the faculty know all 100 of those students by name? Do they know their individual academic interests? Do they know more personal details about them like where they're from, what dorm they live in, who is who's best friend? What level of connection you are looking for in a department can range drastically. Recently one of my professors went across departments to create an entire major for one single student simply because he knew about her interests and felt personally responsible for her success even though he had only known her for one semester. A personalized experience such as this could be life changing.

3. How much is this actually going to cost... like seriously.

Look, we would all love to say that money doesn't matter and that you're just going to the best college you can get into no matter the cost but that's just not reality. College can put you in debt for the rest of your life if you're not careful. Look at the real life earnings people in your field are making, is the cost of this school balance out with your expected income? What if God forbid, you switch your major to something else? Will you still make ends meet?

4. What are people actually doing after graduation?

Sure 95% of this school's graduates are employed or in grad school within 2 years of graduating but what are they doing? Are they in their field? Doing what they went to school for? Are they able to pay off all that debt? Get real with the school and ask them for some alumni you can connect with.

5. Where can I go on the weekend?

Yeah living next to a lake 45 minutes from the nearest town sound like a dream but what are you going to do on the weekend? You can only go to so many dorm parties with the same 50 kids so many times before you're over it. Are there on campus venues for concerts? A nightclub? A bus that will take you to some super lit bowling alley? Trust me, even the people who swear they won't party will get bored and want to do something eventually.

6. How long will it take my mom to get here?

Maybe you want mom to be there within 2 hours of your call. Maybe you want to literally only see mom when you take a train, plane, or bus to come home on long breaks. Maybe mom is your actual best friend and you want her to be your roommate. I don't know man, you should probably have a serious sit down with yourself about how independent you want to be as an 18 year old fresh out of high school.

7. Is anyone I know going here?

Trust me, if 3 of your high school friends are going to the college you're going to, you won't be making many new friends anytime soon. Isn't college all about growing up, experiencing life on your own in a completely new environment? Maybe that's just me but I think the farther you can get from your past life, the more you can grow in college.

Cover Image Credit: alphacoders

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Dance Marathon Helped Me Understand What It Is That I Stand For

What do you stand for?

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The weekend of March 1, 2019, I stood for over 20 hours for the kids. Yep, I am not lying.

Dance Marathon at FSU is a 40-hour event split into two shifts of 20 hours. My freshman year, I earned sit times throughout the marathon, which I was incredibly thankful for, but this year was something totally different. I was on the internal team this year, which means, I worked behind the scenes of Dance Marathon since September. Since I was on the internal team, I did not get the opportunity to get the set times that I did the year prior. I was worried about this because I was not sure if I would be able to do it.

Spoiler Alert! I did it.

There were many times during the marathon where I thought that I could not stand much longer, but then some thoughts came into my mind. Who was I standing for? I was standing for the kids who had to get their leg amputated because they had osteosarcoma and could no longer stand on both legs. I was standing for the kids who are bound to their hospital beds right at this very moment because they are not strong enough to walk on their own. I was standing for the children who needed me to help them win their fight.

This is what kept me standing. This motivated me so much that I did not complain once because I knew who I was doing it for, and I was not going to let them down.

There were multiple people who kept complaining. Every word out of their mouth was about how their feet hurt, or how they were so tired. A large part of me wanted to turn to them and tell them, "Do you know how tired Grayson was when he had to have his many rounds of chemotherapy when he was just one-year-old?" I did not say that to them because I realized something. I knew what and who I was standing for, but maybe they didn't. My goal this year is to help all of those people understand WHY they are doing it.

20 hours on your feet may seem like a long time, but to watch $2,210,165.21 go up at the end, nothing compares.

Like the musical group Fun. once sang, "What do I stand? What do I stand for?" To that, I say, "I stand for the kids."


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