how do you suggest we thoroughly research schools?
Not sure if this is referring to the general process of finding schools or researching the school once you know of it. This is written for the latter.
I think it really helps to think about what you want in a college before going to research them. Make a nice long list what your ideal college would have so you have some specific things to look out for. But it’s good to be open-minded to exploring around too!
From The College (often the school website, but also from word of mouth, other websites, etc) - “The Facts”
Look in academics - What possible majors are there? What do they offer to your major - the specific professors, programs, opportunities, etc?
Look in student life - flip through the list of extracurricular activities and see if there’s anything there of interest to you. What clubs do I want to join? What clubs interest me? Does it seem like freshmen are involved? What is the residential life like?
Look at the food! - What do they serve on a typical day? What kind of meal plans are there?
Look at admissions/financial aid - What kind of school is this for me (reach, match, safety?) What are the requirements? Is this school need-blind?
Look at the location - What is nearby? Think about what you’d want in your school and how that location might be important.
Other things to ask/look for - Advising system, traditions, biggest events.
Some colleges have virtual online tours too.
Student Input! - “The Vibe”
The College’s Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Blogs - look at videos, tweets, posts, pictures of what the college is like. Look at the school in a less formal way - what students are saying. Explore a little.
Things to look for: traditions, biggest events on campus, weather, transportation, freshmen-specific opportunities, study abroad, pictures of dorms, athletic facilities (what is available to you?), partnerships with nearby colleges, libraries, etc.
It might help to google “Why college X?” Sometimes it’s great to hear why students did or did not pick a specific school. I used CC for this sometimes too - just be careful and mindful of who/where the info is coming from.
Reach out to current students/alumni - talk to alums from your school who went there, send emails to current students (usually you can find some email addresses on the college website), send Tumblr messages to current/incoming students. Ask them what they think of the school, why they picked it, what they’re involved in, pros/cons, etc.
Visit the school! - Take a tour, talk to current students, stay overnight, eat a meal there, watch some performances, sit in on a class.
A lot of colleges seem really similar at the outset, so you have to dig deeper to find things that really make each college “distinct” - something that most students struggle with at the beginning of their search.
Some representations of a college are more accurate than others.
What someone else emphasizes as important might not be that way too you.
Before making any assumptions, find out for yourself if stereotypes are true.
I saw Mistress Americalast night. Something I hadn’t realized, I guess because I didn’t really read a lot of the synopsis, is that the film is as much about Lola Kirke’s character, Tracy, starting college in New York City as it is about Greta Gerwig’s character, Brooke. It’s about applying to lit magazines, about actually getting excited in college lectures, and drinking screwdrivers on dorm room floors because that’s the only thing you know how to make. It’s about doing anything vaguely romantic in New York and saying, out loud, “I feel like we’re in a song.” Yeah yeah yeah I knowww lol.
If starting college is a lonely and awkward process on any campus, it’s probably multiplied in New York City. You’re sort of a fraud, really, you haven’t even come here as a fully formed person, which is what people should do before they move to New York, yet you’re expected to be one, or at least pretend to be. “Do you know that feeling of being at a party where you don’t know anyone?” Tracy says to her mom on the phone about trying to make friends. “It’s like that, except all the time.”
So Tracy turns to Brooke, her future step-sister, a 30-something (who pretends to be 20-something) for, friendship? It’s a friendship. Mistress America is many good things but one thing it nails so sweetly, and I’m going to sound really young here, is what it feels like to be 18 years old and around grownups (yes, grownups) who aren’t parents or teachers or college students. And that feeling of being in awe of, just, whatever the hell they’re doing, even if it’s maybe sad or totally normal from a more adult mind-set. Tracy is just so excited by Brooke, by her SoulCycle classes and her businesswoman aspirations and her weird, Times Square apartment that’s commercially-zoned. And being earnestly excited by eating at Veselka and drinking cocktails at a bar and seeing a band play at Warsaw.
There’s this scene in Mistress America when Tracy is trying to buy pasta for Brooke to make for dinner. She wants to get “nice pasta,” and she’s completely clueless about what to get. And she’s wandering through the grocery store, trying to make this crucial choice so she can seem like she knows wtf she is doooooing, and she ends up hastily trying to call her mom for advice. It’s adorable. And it reminded me of being invited to an older “adult” friend’s very nice house for dinner sophomore year and just not knowing what to bring, like, do I bring a bottle of wine? What if this place doesn’t take my fake? What if this bottle of wine is bad? What’s the difference?
Tracy thinks she’s brilliant, she possesses that distinctively college-aged arrogance of really thinking she’s better than everyone, but in a way that’s sweet because you know it’s a phase (hopefully, I don’t know, do you know?) And when you see her fumbling in the grocery store it’s just like, you’re so cute, you think you’re grown-up, you think you’re going to be Great and you don’t know how to make pasta yet.
I am a quarter pilipinx and three-quarters caribbean
TW: SELF HARM
Since I came out officially last october I’ve been on a struggle with my identity. I’ve explored things I’ve been afraid to think about and I am still on this road to self-enlightenment. Since then I’ve overdosed twice, been in hospital once for these, got my first job, finished my first year of college with a distinction; I even bleached my skin. Mega ups and down but I’m aware of myself. I know myself now. Before I didnt feel pilipinx enough… I didnt even feel black enough. I never knew where my place was and nobody around me made it any easier to figure it out. But, fuck the complexities of life, I just need to ride it out and find love in myself and every bit of who I am.
I am Rio, I’m pilipinx andblack, I am trans which is just the top layer but I am proud.
(also im trying to learn tagalog itd be really nice if anyone could send me a message if they’d like to talk and i could practice even though it’s pretty broken sentences i know haha)
What's your reasoning for applying to women's colleges? I'm looking into some (namely Smith and Barnard) but I'm not sure if I'm sold on the idea of a women's college and its benefits if u know what I mean?
My reasoning is that I just… don’t see any negatives to attending a women’s college? I’m bisexual, so it’s not like going to a women’s college would hinder my romantic life in any fashion (I know this is a concern for a lot of girls, but it’s seriously never crossed my mind.) I love how feminist women’s colleges are. They are liberal arts colleges with a focus on female empowerment and political activism, all of which I absolutely love. I think that the comradery that comes from attending a women’s college is distinct from the school spirit found at coed colleges. Women’s colleges attract a certain type of applicant, and I think I fit in with those people.
if you told me this time last year that in 2014 i was going to finish College with distinctions, finally conquer my depression, start studying at university, move to the most beautiful town in Cornwall, try every drug I’ve ever heard of, be in the friendship group that I am now in, not have weird coloured hair, model in a runway show or even that I’d still be alive by the end of it I would not have believed you ! Its been an eventful year, pretty amazing