Good Golly Miss Molly seniors – it’s been a while since I last wrote! That’s cause I’ve been busier than a one-armed ticket taker at a burlesque show (that’s a Tom Waits line in case you’re wondering!) and this time of year things are particularly hopping with decisions to be made, financial aid offers needing to be deciphered and (if necessary) appealed (DON’T say “Negotiated”!!!!!!), and the onset of spring weather inviting us all to come out of hibernation and get outside as much as possible.
And to put the icing on the cake, baseball is back!!!!!!!! 😎
So look, many of you have been in touch with me and by gosh I try to do my best over the phone and meeting with you to help you sort things out, and this here is an invitation to you all (students and parents alike) to pick up the phone or write me an email (or text me – cell # in my signature below) and tell me what the heck is going on with you and ask me your questions. I don’t charge for schmoozing – if I think you should set up a paying meeting I’ll be sure to let you know but trust me, the College Guy is on the case and ready to respond to most all your questions no charge.
That’s why I’m here!
For what it’s worth, here’s what I regularly advise kids and families to consider while they’re in the midst of decision season:
#1. Get clear on each colleges’ costs and their aid award (or lack thereof). If you’re confused call the college and ask, talk to your guidance counselor, or give me a holler.
#2. Remember that ANY college is potentially the “best” school for you.
#3. By the same token, ANY college is potentially NOT going to work out for you, in which case you’ll transfer.
#3a.. Transferring is not catastrophic, it’s part of the game and many (over 40% of) successful college graduates have transferred en route to their Bachelor’s degree.
#4. Regardless of the amount of “due diligence” or research you put in to the decision process, you’re not going to know if the college you select is the “right” or the “wrong” college for you until a semester or two has elapsed.
Therefore you have two choices: worry about it, or don’t worry about it.
Guess which choice the College Guy recommends? (HINT: I’m an old hippie from the early ‘70s…)
While I have a number of suggestions I dispense for ways a student should exercise “due diligence” at this juncture (after they’ve been accepted, before they’ve made their decision), I do not believe there is any sort of “acid test” or fool-proof methodology for determining where a student will be happy and thrive during their college career. I also don’t think the result (happy and thriving, unhappy and struggling) is at all related to the presence or absence, or quality of, the research one does ahead of time.
I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it’s my story and I’m sticking with it. The variables which portend the outcome are too varied and unpredictable to suss out ahead of time.
The cost should of course be a factor, and whatever other parameters the family (yes, I believe it needs to be a family decision and parents need to weigh in) feels are important should be adhered to.
After that, it’s up to the student.
Here’s a few more pieces of advice to all you kids:
1. the traditional decision deadline has always been April 30. This year many colleges are pushing this back a month. Don’t extend the process – it just causes angst and opportunities for second guessing and buyer’s remorse. Make your decision by April 30th, sooner if you’re able, and try not to overthink it.
2. Visits are not required – they’re superficial reads at best. (I know this is NOT what you think and what you’ve been told, but I firmly believe it. Call to discuss if you want more convincing).
3. Once you’ve made the decision have the courage of your conviction and stick with it.
4. You can’t make a mistake.
Anyone who needs a pep talk give me a call. And remember you’re gonna LOVE college once you get to the one that will work for you. Relax!
From your metaphysical Mahatma, your cryptic Collegian, your heavyweight Hippie, your erudite Educator,
P.S. If you’ve been diggin’’ my rants you’d be doing me a solid if you turned your junior and sophomore friends (and parents of same) on to my web page (URL in my signature below). I’m beginning my work with class of ’22 and ’23 kids this time of year. Tell ‘em to sign up for my future Rants – they’re all free and, if you’ve read this far, I suppose you can add they’re “clarifying” and “amusing”. What’s not to like??!!