By Nathan Kight
Photo by Marlon Levy-Faigen
It’s nearing the end of the school year, and many upperclassmen will have to buckle down and start thinking about the future, especially when it comes to deciding on which college to attend. One of the biggest steps in this stressful but crucial point in time is to start visiting colleges to get a feel for what each has to offer.
When it comes time to start visiting, it’s a good idea to make the most out of the experience. “Ask a lot of questions and really pay attention to what they’re telling you because eventually you’ll be experiencing it first-hand,” said senior Tessa Grover.
“Only look at the colleges you would actually be interested in going to. It’s also good to get a feel for the college’s size, and to envision yourself going to that
college,” said senior Mark Hays. He also suggested going on a day with good weather, to have a brighter perspective of any college you decide to visit.
Procrastinators beware: slacking when it comes to preparing for college is very unhealthy, and may lead to not getting into a college if you don’t take initiative. “Definitely visit as many colleges as possible, as soon as possible,” said senior Peter Alaimo.
Senior Ira Griffin believes that leaving a good first impression is also key when checking out college choices. “Be respectful, be friendly, and just be yourself,” he said.
One thing that rising juniors and seniors should keep in mind is that the college fair is NOT a substitute for visiting colleges. “[College fairs] are all commercial, and you don’t get to know the college through it,” said senior Kara Capstraw.
“It was crowded, and they didn’t really give you the important information, they just handed out booklets,” said senior Tyler Yancey. Yancey thinks that the fairs are only good for finding the colleges you like so that you can figure out which places you want to visit and learn more about.
Clete Gualtieri, one of the guidance counselors at J-DHS, agreed that the college fairs can’t compare to going to see the college for yourself. “College fairs are totally different. At college fairs you can ask all the basic questions. College visits are the only way to get the feel of the campus and its style. You can’t get that from a website, a college fair, or even from talking to someone who goes there,” he said.