My brother Luke is in seventh grade, and he is now just as into looking at colleges as I am. It started after I went to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL – my first college visit. I liked the campus and the people there. Luke, however, fell in love with the place. He loved the city of Chicago and everything that had to do with Northwestern. The problem with that, however, is that Luke is too young to be bitten by the college bug.
Junior and senior year are stressful times to be a student. Everything that has come before you – Kindergarten through 11th and 12th grade – has led up to the moment that you leave for college.
Where you go and what you do there are important steps in people’s lives, and you don’t want to end up in a place where you won’t feel like you fit in. Because of all of this stress, it is not good for kids younger than high school, and even lowerclassmen, to be out looking at colleges. While I do enjoy the college search, it is a very stressful time in my life, and I am only a junior. I cannot even begin to imagine what my life will consist of next year.
I have been on three college visits – Northwestern University, Penn State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison – all of which I loved, but a lot of people seem to wonder why I am going to all of these visits as a junior. My goal is to make my life as easy as possible next year.
The last thing I want to do when senior year rolls around is have no idea where I want to go. I want to have a general idea of where I am applying, and narrow it down from there. It is very helpful to make a final decision when you have already been to the colleges you’re looking at.
I can never wrap my head around people who go to college having never seen the campus, as that seems like an incredibly risky tactic that could end up being four unpleasant years.
I want college to be as good as I can make it, and it starts with going to the right place. This search, however, should not be started too early, because the more you look into to colleges, the more the urge of getting in will kick in, and if you’re three or four years away from college, your time in high school is going to be incredibly tiresome.
People should enjoy their time in high school before moving on to bigger and better things because some of the fondest memories you’ll end up making will be from these four years.
The last thing you want to do is blow through them and forget all the great times you have. While looking at colleges is exciting and fun, I urge you to stay away from starting too early.