College Road Trips: Planning the Next Four Years of Your Life

By Katie Forcade

Spring break starts on March 30th, and students are gearing up to see family members, tan at the beach, or bum around Leesburg for a week.  However, a lot of students are taking college road trips with friends and family over the break to go and see which colleges are the right fit for them.

“I hope to learn more about college life, what the campus is like, and how campuses differ from each other,” stated junior Krysania Green, who is getting ready to tour college campuses for spring break. “After touring the school, if it’s not what I thought it would be, it’ll affect whether I’ll apply there in the fall.”

Touring a college can be quite the experience.  It’s a chance for high school students to determine which school would fitting to call home for the next four years after graduation. But it’s not easy—finding the right school can be incredibly difficult for many people.

“You have to make sure [the college] is somewhere you could see yourself in for four years, and somewhere that has a lot of activities and programs that interest you,” said senior Sabrina Kim.

When touring a college, it’s important to look into the academics they offer. If you already have an idea of what you want to major in, make sure the colleges you are looking at offer good programs for that major. Not all places offer the same majors, and some universities have different schools geared towards different kinds of studies within their campus.

It’s also a good idea to learn about the sports and activities offered on campus.  Other than the academics, you’ll want to join extracurricular activities and get involved with something you like.  Make sure the school offers activities you know you’ll enjoy. Also be sure to look into housing options, because many places offer different arrangements.

Kim even states that when visiting colleges, look at “how happy the people are, what the campus looks like, how far it is from home and family, how expensive tuition is, and definitely the food the campus offers.”  All of that helps students decide where to spend the next four years of their life after they graduate.

Lots of schools have open houses held over spring break, where you can get a better look at your intended major along with a tour. Often times, colleges will have tours specifically for juniors where they can then get a feel for what the admissions office is looking for in future applicants, including recommended SAT/ACT scores, GPA, and extracurricular involvement.

“Look at as many colleges as you can!  Each info session, you learn something new!  Also, once you feel pretty confident about a school or two, do an overnight visit to get a real feel of what it is like to be a student on campus.  When I was considering Cornell, I really liked it but came for a second visit and stayed overnight, and that confirmed the decision for me,” said senior Laura Vasquez on her college touring experience.

For many students, college is the next big step in your life that will give you a chance to find yourself. And by taking a college road trip, you can get answers to any questions you may have about the next phase in your life.