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Teen Health 411

College Touring - Oh What Fun It Is To Ride ...

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The junior year of high school - and all my time, anxiety, money and vacation for the next nine months are going toward, drum roll please, you got it, visiting colleges! I am trying to be low key and help my daughter sift through the amazing pile of emails and colored brochures to help her decide what really matters and where she will fit, but nothing really seems to stick with her as much as a visit to the university she might attend - the administration building, the cafeteria, the dorms, and the classrooms of the real deal. She seems to light up when she takes the tour and hears about the wonderful opportunities awaiting her!

She also has started an amazing spreadsheet with information about each college - where it is, how much it costs (she seems to have an uncanny ability to pick the ones that cost about $50k a year), the number of undergraduates, whether it is rural or urban, whether they have an international program that includes Japan, whether they take AP credit, whether we have visited or not, what stood out, etc... and we have narrowed down the field, but oh my what a process!

There are more than 3,500 accredited colleges and universities in the United States and we have seen one, will see another next week, three during Spring break, another three during the summer, and finally (maybe) the east coast schools during Winter break (my idea, to help "cold" be understood). Her younger sister is trying to keep her on the west coast, secretly recycling everything she finds about colleges east of the Rockies, but we both know our vote counts very little!

I guess I should not complain, at least she is engaged in the process! Last year her attitude was - college, no way, being 16 is perfect, so why on earth would I consider college? So, off we go, college touring, oh what fun it is to ride ...
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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