How to Find the Perfect College (and Compete on their Track Team) Part 2
If you missed part 1 of this series last week, please click here and read part 1 first (there's a video too so it will go by pretty fast!).
In part 1, I spoke about the need to be the aggressive one. You need to be the outgoing person actively looking for a school where you think you could spend the next 4 years of your life. If you sit back and try to look attractive and hope to be approached by a school, you are probably going to get looked at by schools and colleges that you might not even be interested in. Some schools may not even know you exist!
This week, I take you through some different categories to help you determine what your "type" actually is. One of the biggest hurdles in selecting your school (pun intended) is that you probably have NO IDEA what you like and what you don't like.
Until you start researching schools and visiting schools in person, you may never know what you like. Luckily, I have an older brother and when he was going on college tours and visits, I was going too. I knew before I even started looking that I wanted a small, quiet campus in the country. My brother wanted to go to school in the middle of a city. This helped me narrow down exactly what I was looking for.
You need to go look at different schools and find out what you actually like. Watch the video below first. Then, check out the list below for some of the "big" categories that have helped my athletes narrow down what they like and dislike to formulate their "type" of school.
School size? Do you like a small school, a medium school, or a large school? 3000 students, 10,000 students, or 30,000 students?
Rural campus or a city campus (or a combo)
Do you want to be away from everything on a peaceful, quiet, woodsy campus? Or do you like big buildings and a big city atmosphere? Maybe both so you start looking for a quiet school right near the city?
Close to home or far away?
30-45 minute drive from home, 1-3 hours drive from home, or somewhere across the country? The bigger the radius from your home, the more colleges you have to choose from.
Older campus or a newer campus?
Do you like old brick buildings, ivy on the walls, antique looking, historic campus or do you want a modern, high tech, school with new facilities and all the bells and whistles?
Quiet campus or a rowdy (busy) campus?
Do you like a campus that shuts down on the weekends, is quiet and peaceful and or do you want frats, sororities, tailgating, and a busier active campus?
What are you going to major in?
Do you have an idea of what you want to study? If you do, find the best school that has a great program that you want to study. If you don't, you might want to find a school with a wide array of majors so you can try things out and see if you like them.
When do you need to declare your major?
If a school requires you to declare your major early, you better have a good idea of what you want to do. If you don't know, try to find a school where you don't have to declare for a few years. Just watch out! You don't want to choose a major so late that you have to stick around and pay for a 5th or 6th year to graduate!
How are the people?
What do the classrooms look like?
What are the class sizes?
What do the bathrooms look like?
Do they have housing on campus for all 4 years?
All of these things play right into your "type" and what you want to look for in a college.
What's not on this list?
Division 1, Division 2, or Division 3. Can I get a scholarship? What does the weight room look like? Do they have an indoor track? How nice does the outdoor track look? How do the throwing circles look? Or really anything really related to track and field team, coaches, or facilities.
You are choosing your HOME for the next 4 years! This is going to be where you live! This is where you will study for the next 4 years. You will (probably) never be a professional track and field athlete. You will more than likely finish up your track career in college. Once track is over, you will enter the working world with your degree and begin your life as an adult. Find the school that fits you, the school that you want to live at for the next 4 years, the school that has the major you like, the school that you think you will enjoy.
Let's face it, if you compete on the track team in college you will do track 2-3 hours a day. The other 21-22 hours a day you will be a student, a roommate, a friend, and a resident. Find where you want to live, and then ask if they have a track team!