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.

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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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do Before They Graduate

Why I wish everyone could have shared in my end of school adventure.


The end of freshman year was filled with the abundant stress of final exams, teary-eyed goodbyes, and last looks at my dorm room on South Campus. The academic year was overwhelmingly busy, and I tried my best to soak in every single moment as a first-year college student. But as I'm sure many of you can understand, it's not always possible to make time for the adventures we so desperately desire. I found myself saying "I want to do that!" all year long, and here it was the last week of the year and my bucket list had barely been touched. All those Philadelphia excursions, dreamy coffee shop dates, and campus explorations that I looked forward to never ended up panning out…

… until last Thursday night.

With about half the freshman class moved out of South Campus, everything felt a little strange. There was barely a dinner rush at all in Donahue Dining Hall, and my room looked so empty it almost made me sad. Naturally, I called up a couple of friends. Within minutes, we met in the lounge, and we were off for our adventure.

Every single day on the way to labs in Mendel Hall, I walked past the beloved Falvey Fountain. It had become such a consistent part of my routine that walking past it felt like it was a necessary daily occurrence. But this time, we didn't walk past. In fact, we stopped dead in our tracks and admired its color changing beauty for a brief moment.

And then we dove in!

Yes, we jumped right into the fountain. First the daring adventurer of the group, then his sidekick, then the skeptic, and finally myself. This was definitely not allowed, but no one was around, and more importantly, no one cared. Being knee deep was freezing, but the adrenaline rush was too much to suppress. So we submerged further, dunking each other and splashing the icy water literally everywhere. My wet hair made way for the most epic hair flip of all time, and we all laughed joyously.

All the stress of looming final grades and the completion of projects, the bittersweet goodbyes to our newfound families, and the hassles of packing up for the year were washed away in that fountain, drowned in the euphoria of the moment. We were officially baptized in summer as it dubbed us the kings and queens of adventure.

Afterward, we wrung out our soaking clothes and snapped a quick pic of our drenched selves. Trying to escape the scene hastily, I dropped my bag of M&M;'s. They spilled everywhere, leaving streams of melty chocolate and food coloring running through the aftermath of our fountain dive. The scene looked like a bit of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory had exploded from the fountain and into the night.

I am far from kidding when I say that adventure is a must for everyone, at any stage of life. Whether it's fountain diving at Nova, or sky diving in New Mexico, something about us as human beings needs the unusual, exciting, and even hazardous experiences. This one was particularly cleansing and absolutely unforgettable.

So I implore you: go forth this summer and be adventurous! Explore hidden places, try new eats, shuffle a stranger's playlist, introduce yourself to someone on a whim, or just get in the car and drive with no destination in mind. This summer is for the bold; this summer's for you.

Happy adventuring!


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