Preparing for Your College Search

Jessica Ignozza, Local/National/World News Editor

4 Tips to Prepare You for Your College Search

We all know that Junior year can be nerve wrecking, especially since this is when the official college search begins.  But, do not fret!  If you follow these tips, college searching will not be as stressful as it may seem. 

Tip #1:  Start thinking about what area of study you are interested in. Growing up, I had the desire to follow in my mom’s footsteps and become a teacher.  During my sophomore year of high school, I was set on taking classes my junior and senior year that would benefit me in majoring in education in college.  Then my junior year began, and my interests started to change.  Now, at the end of my junior year, I am interested in health sciences and psychology more than teaching.  Knowing what potential majors I am interested in has been helping me and my college search because I am able to narrow down which colleges have good science and psychology programs.    

Tip #2:  Think about the location of the college; how far or close you would want to travel or dorm.  This tip is extremely important because it will help narrow down a multitude of colleges, so you are only focusing on certain ones.  I knew right off the bat I did not want to go to college on the west coast in the U.S, so I only began researching schools in the northeast.  This tip has helped me immensely, shrinking my college list from over 3,000 to only 1,500!     

Tip #3:  You do not need to know exactly what you want to major in to start visiting colleges.  Tip number one is only a suggestion, and it may help you with your college search, but knowing what you want to major in to visit colleges is not needed.  So far I have visited three amazing colleges in New Jersey: Montclair, TCNJ, and Monmouth.  Each college was fascinating as I got to tour the beautiful campuses.  College tours are meant for students to see what a college campus looks like and to get the feel of being on a campus.  Do not wait until you know exactly what you want to major in to tour a college campus because you will most likely be waiting a while to visit one.

Tip #4:  Enjoy the excitement of college searching, even if it may be overwhelming at first. College searching is most definitely stressful: it comes with the endless amount of college board emails, road trips to colleges you probably will not even attend, and the anxious thought that you will not be accepted into any.  Even though college searching carries all these stressors, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it will determine your future, so take your time and enjoy the search while it lasts. 

These four tips are only just the beginning of college searching.  Following them will help you not only begin your college search, but will also prepare you for your future!