August 22, 2009

The Education Cycle Begins; The Calendar is Packed

At this time of each year I am usually so eager to get started with school and testing and the college application process that I begin to scare my students. Apparently not all of them are quite as enthusiastic about the beginning of a new school year as I am. Perhaps it's just the end of a summer that they mourn. Either way, big things are always happening. Although this summer has seen us away from our usual stomping ground for more days than we care to recall, the number and geographic location of campus visits has really been wonderful. From the three major New Orleans schools to University of Washington, Seattle University and University of Puget Sound all in the Seattle Metro area, to California State Universities and several private colleges elsewhere on the west coast, this summer has been a whirlwind.
If I have learned anything, it's the importance of campus visits. These universities are always changing so much and there are always such great ideas and collaborations going on around a campus community that make visiting and walking around, even if it's just for an hour, an experience that is well worth the trip. Visiting even the smallest school, one can discover big ideas. With that said, this year will have a great emphasis on college tours. Not only do so many seniors desperately need to see the campuses which they are applying to, but it's time that the juniors and sophomores start opening their eyes, too. These school years always blow by much faster than most think they will and without proper planning, most people will never remember to emphasize a college visit until it is too hectic and a bit too late. Trust me, I see families cramming campus tours during the school year, on a three-day weekend, when their senior is in the middle of the college application process and busy with school, extra-curriculars, etc . . . So, if you're interested in learning more about the trips planned for this year, just let us know. There will be some great opportunities for everyone.
Other than that, with the new year here for many, and just on the horizon for others, my advice is the same as always: stay aware and read a lot. Don't fall behind at the beginning because it's just too hard to catch yourself up. As usual, for those who are going through the college application process now, continue to be in touch with me. I have had some very interesting contacts from students both in the U.S. and as far away as Asia this summer who are looking for guidance. It makes me realize how difficult so much of this process can be and how few advocates there are out there for these kids. I am so happy and proud to be doing what I do and working with the families that I get to work with. Thanks for reading.