How to start your college search as a junior
Whether you’d like to admit it or not, college is right around the corner. It can be daunting to think about. After all, these are meant to be the “best four years of your life.”
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.
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, Augie is a small liberal arts school. Students that decide to study here look for a more interdisciplinary education where they learn from a variety different viewpoints. They also enjoy the small class sizes and close-knit community.
It’s fairly easy to figure out what type of education each school offers; if you look through the school website, one of the first things you’ll find is the school’s values and structure.
A school’s values are a great introduction to the institution and will give you a chance to reflect on what you want out of your education. When you know about the goals a school has for its students, you can get a better idea of whether the school might be a good fit for you.
However, the very best way to get to know a school is by visiting!
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 (Augie included!) you can do an overnight stay to get an even better idea of the college life. If you're not ready to do an overnight stay, Augie's Summer Visit days are a great way for sophomores and juniors to get a sense of what we're all about here.
Another way to start narrowing down potential schools is by major. Do they offer what you think you want to study?
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?
I remember when I was younger people would always ask me, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” and then as I got older, people would ask “What do you want to do with your future?”
It’s a scary thought that you’re “grown up” now and that your future is here, but when you keep your passions and values at the forefront of your mind, you can definitely find a school that will be the best fit for you!
Ila Mostafa is a neuroscience major at Augustana College. She hopes to work in a lab doing research on Parkinson's Disease. In her free time, Ila enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family.