The phenomenon of expansion and contraction occurs regularly in our lives: the refrigerator is full, and two days later it is near-empty; the fear over COVID overwhelmed us, and now we are in a less worrisome situation.
College lists are similar: we encourage them to expand, and then we narrow them to a well-rounded and workable list. Through summer we are in a phase of expansion. This process of expansion and ultimately creating a well-rounded and appropriate list does not happen without some work. But the benefits are many.
Growing the list takes an open mind — and courage. Remember the first time you tried sushi? You adopted a mindset of exploration — even risk-taking! It’s the same with colleges. Never heard of that college? Not sure what it offers? Give it a try! Is it in a part of the country you haven’t seen before or even considered studying outside the US? Imagine what you might find. Include colleges that you may not have heard of before or that might not be the “flavor of the month” in their school and community. Imagine what you can catch when you cast a wide net!
Growing the list takes a commitment to exploration and research. Colleges in San Diego might have great surfing, but did you know that UC San Diego has an amazing chemistry department that incorporates both? Do you know what construction engineering entails or that most programs offer (paid) internships in this field? Taking those first steps to digging into the academics section of a college’s website can reveal, intrigue, and incite you to learn more. Did you know that you can spend a semester at Cambridge while studying economics at Carleton College?
We won’t let your list remain “wild” — because as the end of summer rolls around, we are all about making your list workable. We will strive to contract the list so that it is well-rounded, fits your criteria (some of which may be newly discovered), and is manageable. Ideally, you will grow in self-awareness and even generate some real excitement about your college experience.
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