Excuses, excuses. Preparing for college is a time-consuming task. Evidenced by the many online and other forms of checklists that have been published for this very purpose. I have prepared a different list. A list of excuses heard in my household that I thought might be helpful to share so you will be armed and ready for battle.
Not to say the recommended logic below will sway or convince every child, but as a parent it can’t hurt to give it a try.
1. “I don’t know what I want to go school for….”
All the more reason to tour. Start local so it is not a big investment in time. Visit a public, private, and technical school. Tour guides and admissions officers will do a great job explaining the type of learning environment modelled on their campus, classroom sizes, majors and more. The process of elimination approach of what you definitely don’t like may get you to some answers or preferences much faster. Many schools don’t require you select a major until the spring of your second year, so there is time before you need to get specific.
2. “My friend’s sister visited there and hated it….”
This is the easiest one to counter point in my opinion. What type of movies does she like? What is her favorite sport? What does she want to do for a career? Well look at that, all are different from what you like and nothing could be truer of a college experience for each individual student. So, everyone really needs to see for themselves, it is the only way to know what is a good fit for you.
3. “I watched the video on their site, I’m good….”
Let’s day dream for a minute and imagine Mom is giving you the money to pick out any high cost, performance sports car you like. Would you watch the video on the website and send the car dealer a check before you picked it up? I certainly hope not! You want to drive it, see all the features and options for yourself. College is an even bigger investment in both time and money, so taking a test drive around campus is critical.
4. “I am only interested in one school……”
Did you know that you liked soccer more than baseball until you played both sports? Did you know that cookies and cream was your one and only favorite flavor of ice cream before you tried several others? Don’t limit your choices. Also, and unfortunately, what if this “one and only school” is not interested in you? Be sure to see what the acceptance rate percentage is before you put all your hopes into this one and only school. Many will say you should visit anywhere from 4 to 8 schools and decide on preferably 5 or 6. Don’t forget, two reach, two target schools and one or two safety.
5. My all time favorite. "Why start now, we have plenty of time…"
This is by far the hardest argument to overcome, because as a teenager’s perception is time is abundantly available, especially if your little darling is a natural born procrastinator. But try the following: Does it seem like just yesterday you were in middle school? Seems that way to me. Has one of your sisters or brothers already gone to college and already returned? How fast did that go by? The point being, time passes quickly. Why start now? Well for one, although it may seem like you have two years before going to college, the time that you have to actually visit campuses is limited. You have a few weeks of school vacation, summer vacation and maybe some weekends depending on the school’s scheduling of tours. If you are only touring locally, visiting 3 to 5 schools if very doable in this time frame. However, double the time and effort, if you are travelling out of state, driving or even flying. So, let’s get started ASAP!
College visits are just the beginning for most. College planning can be a timely process, but to keep things organized and on a manageable schedule download our free College Planning Guide today!