How to get started on your college search as a junior
Whether you like to admit it, college is right around the corner. It can be daunting to think about. Your life is about to change, and you’re headed toward the next big phase.
How do you even go about trying to think about something so huge?
The first step is to actually begin. I know that sounds kind of silly, but when it comes to thinking about college, the sooner you start, the less stressed you’ll be when declaration time comes around (May 1 of your senior year).
When you start to think about what colleges you might want to go to, it is important to think about what type of education would be best for you.
For instance, Augustana is a small liberal arts school. Students who decide to study here look for a more interdisciplinary education where they learn from a variety of viewpoints. They also enjoy the small class sizes and close-knit community. Students who end up at Augustana value the chance to explore, collaborate with classmates and professors, and want to some day change the world, or simply, their world.
One way to start narrowing down potential schools is by major. Do they offer what you think you want to study? Do their graduates launch careers in the field you are interested in? What do those careers look like?
But don’t let choosing a major overwhelm you too much right now.
When it comes to picking a major, don’t feel like you need to have your entire life planned out. The best way to get started about thinking about programs, majors and future careers is to think about your passions.
What do you enjoy doing? What are subjects in school that interest you? How could you imagine one of your interests becoming a pivotal part in your life?
At some point, when a school seems like a good enough fit for you, you’ll want to visit that school.
Immersing yourself in the college environment for a day will give you an idea of what your experience there will be like. For many schools (Augustana included!), you can schedule a visit online. The best visits are the ones you take. Seriously! Even if you leave a campus visit knowing the school isn’t a good fit, at least you’ve come that much closer to knowing what is a good fit.
So, where do you go from here? Straight to the websites of the schools you are interested in. Browse, search majors, check out their residence halls and student groups. See what their graduates are up to and how that school will help you explore your future. Use that information to start your list and go from there. You’re going to do just fine.