Finding the Right College Community
CollegeAdvisor Admissions Expert Kaitlin will share her advice on how to choose a school by fit, finding the right community for you.
2021-12-13 Finding the Right College Community
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on finding the right college community. Orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation than answering your questions in the live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists. Hello everyone. My name is Kaitlin and I have been with college adviser. Since the very beginning, I’m a senior advisor and an advisor team lead. I went to UC Berkeley and graduated in 2018. Um, a truly can’t believe it’s been three years since graduation [00:01:00] and I, um, absolutely love helping students one find the perfect college for them.
Um, and I will preface that by saying there’s no one great college for you. And I also love working through all of your. Um, and really trying to figure out how to find the best place for you and how to position yourself to get into that. Number one topic, um, majored in econ, minored in English. Uh, nowadays I work in marketing as well as being an advisor.
So hopefully, um, this will be a helpful webinar for you all today. Um, and you are, feel free to ask any questions in regards to what we’re going over, or, um, specific questions for me as.
All right. So welcome to our first poll of the night. Uh, what grade are you in? Uh, so we’ll go ahead and start collecting responses. Um, and in the meantime, uh, Caitlin, [00:02:00] uh, can you just tell us what your, uh, favorite tradition at UC Berkeley? Yes. Thank you for the great question. Kayla, my favorite tradition at UC Berkeley is the big game, which I actually shared the last time I was on a webinar and it was before it happened this year.
Um, Cal actually did beat Stanford, um, which is only the second time in like the last 15 years. And the big game for those who don’t know what it is. Most big colleges have a rivalry football game, usually the Saturday before Thanksgiving. And it’s just a really great time to really feel that school, spirit and pride, um, in to remind yourself why you went there and, um, you know, why you love the school so much.
Awesome. Thank you for the sharing that, um, all right. At this time, Uh, so it looks like there’s 8% of you that are in ninth grade. Uh, 8% of you are in [00:03:00] 10th grade, a 62% of you are in 11th grade, 15% in 12th grade and 8% in others. So 11th grade really showing out tonight. Well, it’s nice to have you all here.
Hopefully this will be really helpful as you build your college list. Um, as you go into senior year, if you are not an 11th grader, this is also really helpful there, it’s never too early to start thinking about the schools that you might want to apply to. Um, so first I would love to just kind of go over the basics of what.
Uh, school, a good fit. This is one of the number one questions we get asked as advisors. And there is no one answer. Uh, this differs from student to student. So there are four main things we like to go over when deciding if a school looks like it would be a good fit for a student. The first is academic.
You want to make sure that you’re pushed, but you also want to make sure that it’s not too hard, a really easy way to make sure that [00:04:00] this is a good fit for you is to look at their average GPA’s of admitted students. And also if you took the sat or the act, I know a lot of schools are test optional. You can also look at their average scores that just gives you an inkling of if you would be at the same academic level, as most of the students at that.
Another thing that oftentimes we forget about maybe until we actually start looking into schools is making sure that they have the majors and the programs that you’re interested in. A lot of times we think of these big schools and. Then realize that they might not have the specialized major that you want to go into.
So that’s something we like to take into account prior to building out your college list, just to make sure that any school you apply to any school you get into really does have everything that. Along with academics while college is about getting your education. There are other parts that are just as important.
So extracurriculars thinking through what was really important to you [00:05:00] in high school. What do you want to try? Maybe that’s new. If you want to pursue sports or arts, making sure that that school supports that. And maybe if they don’t have their own program currently running that you have the ability to possibly impact.
Uh, program or start a club on your own. Another thing that I think has been a really hard to assess during COVID is atmosphere. So of course you can do your research and you can look up locations and also the size of the student body, the size of the campus, and just see what resources are available to students.
But it really is. Feeling like you would be a good fit. Um, so we’ll talk about this a little bit more later, but it’s really important to just know you can do your research. It’s also great to talk to alums or, um, you know, other people who maybe are in the admissions office just to get some insider scoop on whether or not this would be a good school for.
And lastly, finances, this isn’t always an easy conversation to [00:06:00] have with, whoever’s helping you through this process. Whoever might be helping you pay for college, but finances are a huge part of the experience. Um, college can be really expensive. So making sure that if you need it, that there are scholarships and financial aid options that would be available to you.
Um, and it’s also important to note looking into the. Especially if you’re applying early to a school, just to make sure that you know, how it would affect you later, um, before you get that acceptance in our all excited.
Another thing that we get asked a lot is what factors actually create this culture. So not only is it trying to figure out the fit for you, but how do you decipher if a school has a certain culture and there are. Many many lists that you can go through. We tried to narrow it down just to these top bullet points here.
So hopefully this will give you a good starting point [00:07:00] and I’ll say this a lot, but really do your research. There’s never too much research you can do into a school. You really do want to make sure that you have a great list of safeties targets and reaches that you would all be happy to attend.
Everyone can come up with at least 10 schools that would make them equally as happy. So that’s really what we’re trying to do here tonight and finding the right fit. And that’s also, what if you have an advisor through CollegeAdvisor will help you through when you’re building out your college list. So the top, which we briefly touched on before is size, size, and location kind of go together.
Oftentimes the, I will say these are the two things that differ amongst college lists. I know myself when I was applying to colleges, I definitely had small schools and big schools. I had locations on the east coast and on the west coast, and that is completely fine, but make sure to really look into what would be the best fit for you if you’re not sure yet you can definitely apply to.
Schools on both [00:08:00] sides of the spectrum. But I think in location, one of the biggest things to decide is if you want to be in a big city or if you’re okay being rural. And then if you want to go to a big university with a lot of research opportunities, or if you like smaller class sizes and there’s no one right answer, you might do well at a plethora of different types of colleges.
But these are just things to start thinking. Along with size, is that student body makeup. So not only how many students are in your classes, how many students are on campus, but also what does that student body look like? Are the, is it very diverse? Are there people from all over the country, all over the world?
Is there a plethora of majors represented really look into that, especially if there’s a certain vibe that you’re looking for at a school. And all of this information is on every college website. Um, so again, Google be your best friend, do your research. And you’re sure to find the answers you’re looking for.
If not, you can always call the admissions office and they’ll be [00:09:00] happy to help you. They love talking to potential incoming. I think resources go along a similar line. If there’s something in particular, you need like a disability aid, which is oftentimes something that a school would provide for you or financial aid, or even just interested in the health services that are available there.
If there’s a hospital on campus, what that’s like, especially in COVID. The number one research question about resources that we’re seeing come up a lot. Again, it’s on the website, but just things to think about things. Some of these are things that may be when we’re thinking of like our top schools that come to mind kind of fall through the cracks until we’re really looking into building our college.
And then school, spirit and traditions. Um, similar to the question that Kayla asked me before, this can be a big determining factor. Usually once you have some acceptances and you’re trying to figure out, okay, I love all these schools. I would be happy to go to them. [00:10:00] You know, they’ve given me the financial aid I need, they have the majors that I’m interested in.
What’s the determining factor when it comes down to that. And a lot of times that school, spirit and traditions. So what are you really going to get out of the campus? What does it feel like to walk through from class to class? How do students interact with each other? And this can be anything from. It’s silly traditions, like the big game or, you know, school spirit for me when I visited UC Berkeley, almost everyone was wearing some sort of UC Berkeley gear.
And I loved how proud everyone was to say that they attended the school. So just little things to look into. I think a lot of times. It’s best to get that on campus, but almost every college now has a virtual tour. And so I recommend that. And again, reaching out to possible alums, maybe someone from your high school who went there so they can give you the best inside scoop on what it’s like to actually be.[00:11:00]
And when you’re researching these colleges. So along, this is just a culmination of everything we’ve talked about so far, um, the slides are available, so feel free to download those or screenshot. This is a really good start when you are researching for colleges, especially all the 11th graders who will really start building out your list in the spring.
Um, again, just to go through them, academic majors and programs, make sure that they have the programs you’re interested in. And another important note is if you’re undecided, which is completely fine, you’re not going to be marked down on your application if you’re not sure what major you want to pursue, make sure that that school or university.
Does have a great undecided program. A lot of times universities will have special classes. You can take to kind of get a taste of different majors. You might be interested in, or even certain paths that allow you to declare your major a little later. So make sure to look into that. If you’re not sure [00:12:00] what exactly you want to pursue and then cost of attendance.
That’s a really important one. Also sit down with your parents and figure out who’s paying for what, how much they’re willing to help you. That can be a hard conversation, but it’s really important to have to make sure that every college you’re putting on your list is a good fit for you. And if you get accepted there, um, you would most likely be able to.
And then I won’t go through the rest. Um, other than career in tutoring services, that’s something we haven’t brought up yet career in tutoring services. It shouldn’t be a make or break, but it can be a huge asset and a huge plus if you would like to go into a certain field, or if you’re in a particularly hard program, a lot of schools do have free tutoring, uh, free sessions with maybe grad students or volunteers.
And that’s something that I definitely looked into. Um, I wasn’t sure what major exactly I wanted to pursue, how to a few in mind [00:13:00] and new. Econometrics and statistics, we’re going to be really tough. So I wanted to make sure that there were tutoring services. If I needed them, I’m in the same for career services.
If you want to go into med school or maybe be a lawyer or go into the tech world, a lot of times, those connections from college, whether they’re alumni networks or actual on campus, career fairs, those who really help you get internships in college. And also jobs when you graduate or even when you’re in alum.
So those are just two things that I think aren’t always on everyone’s radar when you’re looking for a good fit and building out that college list. Um, so just two extra things to keep in mind as you do this research and kind of look through schools and try to figure out what is most important. And again, if you, and talk to current students or alumni, or even just call the admissions office, that’s really helpful to get the overall feeling that you’ll have [00:14:00] on campus as a student, which is a lot harder to figure out just in regular research or on a web.
So if now we’ve gone through all of these things to look into, you’re really curious. Okay, where can I find this information? How can I actually do my own research into a certain colleges community? So college website, again, Google really is your best friend throughout this process. Most actually. Club pages.
Um, so if you search for the college and then look up their clubs, they usually have a web page that will list out all of the clubs that you could join on campus. That’s a really helpful way to see, you know, what students are interested in, what they’re, it’s important to them. If there’s a certain community service opportunity that you’re interested in continuing in college or a certain club that you like to be part of like an art club, or maybe you want to play intramurals.
That should all be found on the club pages. There’s also [00:15:00] Sproul hall. So this is usually when you visit or when you actually are on campus. Sproul hall is the university of hall at Cal I know UCLA USC. Almost every school has some version of this. It’s basically an open area on campus where clubs will set up either for fundraising events or if they have a certain meeting coming up there, be set up there.
So you can always go and talk to students. Once you get to school as well and figure out what would be the best fit for you. Orientation and recruitment for clubs is another great place to figure out more about a college’s particular community. Oftentimes, if this is before you’re actually at school, you can just look up what they’re talking about during the orientation.
This is once you’re on campus, it’s a really great way to figure out what else you can get involved in during orientation and during recruitment for clubs. There are, as I put here so many things. [00:16:00] If you’re not sure what you want to do, and that’s not a big part of you building your college list, you can definitely figure it out once you get to school.
I think that’s one of the best parts of college. At least one of my favorite parts is it was so easy to join. Any type of club get involved in anything from UC Berkeley loves to talk about underwater basket weaving because that’s a club on campus. So anything from underwater basket weaving to debate to professional organizations.
Two, um, a pottery class or a pottery club. There’s everything that you can think of. And you can also just wait until you get to campus, if that is more your style. And then lastly, if you haven’t had a chance to talk to an alumni directly, there are also class of groups and networks. Oftentimes these are found on social media.
So Facebook or they’ll have an Instagram page. I’ve heard that they’re also creating Snapchat. Okay. I’m way too old to understand how that works for an entire class. [00:17:00] Um, and they basically give you all the updates there. So that’s another place that you can check out, even if you haven’t gotten admitted yet.
Um, oftentimes they’ll let you join and you can just see what people are talking about. Um, and upcoming events, new clubs will be posted in there.
All right. So we are on to our second poll of the night, which is where are you in the college application process? Uh, so we’ll go ahead and begin collecting those responses. Um, and at this time, Caitlyn, I spoke a little bit earlier about resources on campus. Uh, I’m just curious to know, like which resources ended up kind of being the most helpful or most useful to you while you already use.
Yeah, that’s a great question, Kayla. Um, I would say kind of ironically, the health services ended up being super important. Turns out I have a terrible allergy to some sort of plant that’s in the bay area. So it was there for lots of [00:18:00] sinus infections. And then on the other side of that and the more, well, I guess it’s also a positive side.
Definitely saved my butt more than once. Um, the career services was extremely helpful. We had career fairs that came to campus. Um, there’s always an engineering one if you were in ekes. Um, and then also one for kind of any other field. I work in Silicon valley. Now I’ve worked at startups and also at one of the top tech companies.
And I honestly, a lot of those job opportunities and interviews came from either alumni from Cal or the career fair. Um, I think one of the things that I didn’t know before I got on campus was that they actually big universities and smaller universities as well will have career fairs where they have recruiters come to campus.
Their entire job is to recruit college students for internships. And oftentimes those internships lead to a full-time job, or at least the experience you [00:19:00] need for a full-time job. Um, so that’s something that I think is underrated. And, um, if you have the opportunity to attend a career fair, it can really give you a.
All right. Thank you so much for that, Caitlin. Um, all right. So, um, the responses are in, so we have 16%, uh, rolling in for haven’t started yet, uh, 53% of you saying that you’re currently researching schools. Uh, no one is working on essays, so wonderful person. If you are getting your application materials together and 21% of you say that your.
Done with the entire process. So graduations to them. I hope it’s a few of my students. I’m sure they are. Awesome. Well, thank you, Kayla. Yeah. So if this has all been your leading up to this point, it seems like a lot of you are getting your papers together, really doing research haven’t started, um, how to learn more [00:20:00] about what your specifically looking for.
Oftentimes. The hardest part is you could do the research. You all know how to Google, you know, how to join Facebook groups or find the Instagram pages. But how do you figure out what even you’re looking for? Um, and this is not a one-off answer. I think this is one of the number one. As well, we get asked as CollegeAdvisor and a lot of times it’s just thinking through questions.
Um, so we came up with a list of questions here that again, download the slides or screenshot this, um, that it’s really great for you to think through. There’s no right answer. You can also change your mind on these, but this is a good start to figure out a few. So one in looking up what extracurriculars and clubs you enjoy in high school.
That’s a really easy way to see if that’s something you would like to pursue in college, which is a great start to find your community on campus immediately. And also to see, um, you know, oftentimes if there are a group of students who all like doing this [00:21:00] one thing, usually have other common interests.
Um, so that’s a great start, whether. And R a sport or any type of community service leadership. See what else is out there that would be similar in a college capacity. The next one, which can oftentimes be really hard is how would you describe your personality? So if you’re someone who considers themselves extremely extroverted, Is the person who is, you know, always planning the pep assemblies and likes to be on the front lines of your football games, then a school with a big sports.
Uh, like a big sports membership would probably be a good fit for you. Um, if you’re someone who is loving all of your discussion sections in high school, you like your Spanish class, that’s only eight people because you get a lot of time to talk. Um, that’s something that’s also important to know, maybe a smaller school with really small class sizes and more one-on-one time with a professor is a better way.
Um, so just think [00:22:00] through these things, there’s no again right or wrong answer. Um, oftentimes when I start working with my students, we come up with five traits to describe themselves. This helps us narrow down their college list. And it also really helps once you start writing your essays and looking at your application as a whole.
Um, so I would say start with that figure out five personality traits that you think really describe yourself. You can also ask your. Ask an advisor at school, ask your parents to describe you as well. Um, so oftentimes it’s easier to say yes or no to someone else giving us traits that we’re close to than it is to kind of come up with them ourselves.
And similar to that low class size, really figuring out how you like to live. If big lecture halls just don’t work for you. You’re not an auditory learner. You’re a lot more hands-on learner. Maybe you’re a kinesthetic learner. That’s something to keep in mind. Um, and just overall, what are you trying to get out of the college experience?
I think that’s an answer [00:23:00] that’s different from everyone. Obviously you’d like to get your degree. That’s important. Number one, but what else do you want to get out of it? Is there a certain jobs that you have in mind where professional services like those career fairs would be helpful? Or is there, are there other things that are more important to you than maybe your potential career path?
Like the undergrad undecided? That you might need, and then is living on campus a priority. This is another thing that is great to look into. Uh, one note I will make is if you have a financial aid package that helps with housing. Then you have to live on campus. So I would look into those options. I know that in my own experience at UC Berkeley, usually only freshmen live on campus.
And that’s something that I hadn’t really thought about until attending. Um, I did love living in, uh, an off-campus apartment with two of my best friends, but if that’s not something that sounds great for you, if you just want to eat in the dining hall and live in a [00:24:00] dorm. Don’t want to worry about cleaning the bathroom, um, then look into that and make sure that that’s a priority.
So going back to our college list, um, this is just another great bullet pointed list to really figure out how these factors should change your school list. So if you’re one of those people who in the poll said, I am working on my college list right now, I am working on my applications. Uh, these are some things to think about.
Again, that in-state or out-of-state do you want to be close to home? Does the tuition change between in-state and out-of-state make a difference for you? These are really important conversations to have you also might change your mind. Um, I applied to only California schools and schools in Massachusetts because those are my two favorite states.
I have. Born and raised in California, but most of my family lives in Massachusetts, ended up realizing I did want to stay closer to home. That’s a fine realization to have later, but at least [00:25:00] figuring out some semblance of where you want to go. Now we’re really helped because there are so many colleges and universities in the.
Not even noting any of them abroad that that just helps narrow it down. So it feels a little bit less overwhelming. And that’s the same with the big school or small school. You’re more than welcome to have multiple big schools and multiple small schools on your list. But if you do have a certain learning style that you think wouldn’t be compatible with one or the other, that’s just an important thing to note.
Maybe only have a few big schools on your list if having one-on-one time with the professor is more than. And then, um, same with the majors again, make sure that you have your majors there. I’ve had quite a few nursing students this year. This is why we keep reiterating it. That when we looked at their school lists, none of that schools had nursing.
So that’s just something that’s important to note as you’re creating these lists. And then just noting again, how does your academic profile compare? That is something that’s really important. Your CollegeAdvisor will [00:26:00] help you with this as well. We’ll rank them and deceive these targets and reaches for you.
Um, so safeties means that you’re not exactly, or that you’re way beyond the next. Your GPA is higher. The APS that you’ve taken are higher target, you’re kind of right on the money. Exactly what this school has admitted in the past. And then a reach is like every single Ivy, any school with a really high, um, or low acceptance rate and a school with, you know, basically 4.0 GPA and, um, 1600 SATs across the board.
So what made me choose UC Berkeley? Um, I always found it helpful when I was going through the college process to hear from either current students or recent alumni, why they chose their school. That really helped me gauge what I should be looking into. Um, so as Kayla mentioned before, my favorite school pride or tradition, um, I [00:27:00] absolutely.
I was in charge of all of our pep assemblies with spirit captain. Played multiple varsity sports in high school. So that was a huge thing for me. If I wasn’t going to play D one soccer, I still wanted to be able to participate in that culture. Um, and I, I think I mentioned this earlier, when I walked on campus, everyone was wearing a Cal shirt or Cal hat, um, or yelling go bears to each other.
So that kind of set in stone that I had made the right. Um, academic culture. So we have talked a bit about, you know, class sizes student to professor, professor ratios, and also making sure that kind of your academic report card would match with the school. Um, the academic culture is more than that for me, at least one of the things that I looked into is are there study groups, um, you know, when you walk through the libraries or you do those virtual tours, does it seem like people are studying together?
It seem like those resources are being used. [00:28:00] Um, are there a lot of options if you do need help, like a tutoring center or maybe one on one time with a professor that’s easy to book. Um, so just some other things to look into, and again, as you think through that list of questions that I hope you screenshot, I had, or at least downloaded, um, just thinking through like really how you like to learn.
Um, cause again, even though all these factors are important, you are ultimately there to get your. Another big part for me, um, was that when I walked on Cal’s campus and just all throughout the process, I really felt like everyone wanted to make the world a better place. Um, I mean, it is where the free speech movement started.
And if any of you. We’re old enough to watch the news kind of the years that I was there, there was a lot going on, on campus as well. And I think one of the biggest things is just, I felt like they were, those were my people that was a community I could fit into. Um, everyone was ambitious and really. I wanted to do something important.
Um, [00:29:00] that can be the vibe that is not for you at all. I think that’s something that, again, if you can talk to alums or current students or even call the admissions office, that’s something that they can probably tell you a little bit better than just whatever you find on Google. And as we were talking through clubs and extracurriculars before, uh, I did a lot in high school and I wanted to continue to pursue community service and leadership in college.
And at UC Berkeley, they have a club for every single interest. There are. Um, I think over a thousand clubs at this point, and it’s also really easy to start a club. If there isn’t one for whatever area of expertise that you’re interested in. Um, and then the major in career service options, we did talk about this a little bit.
It really did help me get some internships in college, which ultimately led me to get my full-time job. And just those connections that you make are. Incredible for the rest of your life. [00:30:00] Um, we always joke in kind of my group of friends and mentorship that your network is your net worth. Um, once you get out into the business world and are pursuing your career, and I think UC Berkeley does a really great job of supporting alumni, as well as students who are currently in school, get jobs and find the resources that they need.
And since this is another question that we, um, got a lot in the last webinar, just how did I find my community once I was on campus? Cause I think we’ve now gone through the process. You have some ideas of how to figure out your college list. Um, if you’re a senior and you’re getting excited to get those acceptance letters.
Figuring out once you’re on campus, how to continue to find your community or just even to figure out where your people are, where you fit in best. Um, I had a pretty easy experience. One of the reasons was because I lived in the dorms again, look into that on-campus [00:31:00] housing options. They think the dorms, even if you only live in them, freshmen.
Yeah. Really really help you make immediate friends. My two roommates who I live with freshman year are both college advisors now. And we started a non-profit together this year. So truly just being put in the same room in a triple in Clark Kerr, uh, really sealed our fate as best friends. So I think that’s, uh, an important thing to know.
Um, it’s also put yourself out there once you’re on campus, because your next door neighbor in the dorms who you brush your teeth next to every. May end up being the one who refers you to your next job, or it might end up being, um, you know, the person that you then start a club with. Uh, so the, the kind of on the club note, there are so many club fairs.
Um, again, Sproul hall, that’s where it happens at UC Berkeley’s campus. You will not go into a single bathroom in college that doesn’t have. Taped on the back of the door. There are so many events going on. [00:32:00] Um, don’t be afraid to just show up to one, maybe drag a friend along with you. Um, but you can always stop by the booths or even just the admissions office and talk to them about what clubs are on campus.
Um, because students who are running any of the extracurriculars really do want more members and are excited to talk to you, especially if you’re an incoming freshman or a transfer. Who’s a junior. They just want to talk to you and get to know you and are excited that people are interested in the club that they run.
Okay. Lastly, I did intentionally choose UC Berkeley just because of all the opportunities overall. Um, I think going to a school that can give you a lot of different options is great because oftentimes we come into college thinking we want one thing and end up coming out with a different degree or trying a different sport or pursuing a career path that maybe we didn’t think of before.
So just making sure that they’re. Options for you to pivot. Um, if you’re [00:33:00] not set on one path
and my experience on commute on campus, once I joined the communities, um, another really big one for me was playing. I am sports. I think that, um, if you played sports in college or in high school, or even if you didn’t play sports in high school, um, it’s a really great way to. Stay active, um, you know, get your brain juices flowing, even if you’re not exercising every day.
Um, and also make friends there is every single sport. You don’t have to have played it before. Um, I had a lot of friends who decided to join the dodgeball. Or, um, ultimate Frisbee, which is another great one that maybe you didn’t get an opportunity to try before. Uh, I also joined a sorority and, um, some community service orgs along with professional clubs.
So I was the president of undergraduate communication association. And it was also a member of Berkeley women in [00:34:00] business. Uh, that’s one of the reasons that they asked me to present this webinar tonight, because I really did kind of get involved in almost every aspect of campus life. Um, so hopefully I’ve given you a pretty thorough understanding of what to look for in schools and then how to find your fit and your community once you’re on.
And my last piece of advice, be yourself. Again, all those questions to think through are really to figure out what you want out of college and to just get a better understanding of what you need in a school. And don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I think any. Club would be happy to have you. Um, it’s really a great experience when you’re on a college campus.
It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced, where everyone is there to make new friends, to try new things. It’s really four to however many years of just what. And everyone would be [00:35:00] happy to help you happy to have you join whatever organization they’re a part of. And then they’re really thinking through your interests.
I think that’s something that maybe happens now. Maybe happens once you’re at school, but oftentimes we do a million things. At least from my own experience, you do a million things in high school might not be able to do all of those. Once you get to college. So just thinking through and prioritizing what you really want to continue to do.
Um, and maybe thinking up some new things that you haven’t tried yet, then kind of along with, um, not being afraid to put yourself out there, really talk to people in your dorms. And I’m connected to almost everyone who was on my floor freshman year still. And it’s a really easy way to at least have a buddy to go down to the dining room.
Most importantly, we did underline this and think this is the number one takeaway. You can find your people anywhere and you can be a part of multiple communities. I think this is a really big fear is what [00:36:00] if I get on campus? And I realize it’s not really the fit for me or what if I get on campus. And, um, you know, I changed my career path or my major path, or I don’t want to join the clubs that I set out to join.
You can really find your people in your fit anywhere on any campus, as long as you figure out what’s important to you. So if you are watched through the first half of this webinar and are now really concerned about your college list and making sure it’s a perfect fit, there’s no one school for you. Um, and our job as college advisors is really to figure out how many schools out there there are for you so that we can have a plethora of options.
Once you get to that second semester, senior year.
Oh, right. Um, so that is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving onto the live Q and a [00:37:00] I’ll read through the questions that you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them into the public chat so everyone can see.
And then we eat them aloud so that our panelists can give you an answer as a heads up. If your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page. All right, let’s go ahead and get started.
Um, All right. So our first question is, um, my daughter is concerned about rigor of classes and not clubs. Does that negatively impact her acceptance? So I think there’s a few way to answer. Is that, um, kind of on the admission side, when they’re looking at an application, um, they do take a holistic view. I know that that’s kind of a buzzword in college admissions, but we’re seeing, especially after COVID and [00:38:00] schools becoming test optional, they are trying to be as holistic as possible.
Um, so they do take into account. The classes that you have been taking, um, the rigor of them, if you’ve been taking APS or, um, you’re in an IP program, but they also do take into account you as a student, as a whole. Um, so the classes and extracurriculars that you’re a part of are important. Um, we don’t like to assign weights to each one.
But I would say from what we’ve understood, usually they look at kind of your GPA and if they are taking test scores as kind of the basis of like, okay, this student would probably be a good fit. Maybe they wouldn’t be a good fit and then holistically look at everything else. And then kind of the flip side of that, once you’re on campus, if your daughter is a student who is just interested in academic, Has a very certain career path or a major path, maybe they want to double major in mind then yes, [00:39:00] 100%.
You can just focus on the classes and the rigor. Um, extracurriculars are a really fun part of college. They’re by no means necessary. If clubs are not on your daughter’s radar, that is totally fine. You can definitely look through academics, um, as your major decider, when building out the college.
All right. Perfect. Thank you for that answer. Um, so we’re still waiting for a number of you to submit, um, questions into the Q and a. So please be sure to do that, if you do have any questions. Um, and in the meantime, Kaitlin, um, you know, you kind of talked about how busy, how incredibly busy you were, uh, while you were at UC Berkeley.
Um, and so can you kind of give tips to us about, like, how did you. Manage all of that. And once, you know, what are some values and principles, some tips of self-management that were helpful to you. Yeah, definitely. That’s a great [00:40:00] question, Kayla. Um, I was actually just talking about. This with a freshman in high school actually recently.
And I think my advice ultimately to her was you can start now in high school, really figuring out what works for you. If you already have a time management process in place and a certain way you like to study for certain subjects. It helps so much when you get to college. Um, I am a day planner lover.
That is my number one key. Um, honestly, would love to be sponsored by a day planner company sometime in the future. Uh, but I, what I do is I usually look at a month ahead of time and figure out when I have had exams or if I have papers due. Um, if there are certain upcoming important events, either for work or for a club and really lay out the schedule of that.
I think when you have a plan, even if you’re really busy, you feel a lot more settled. And then you know that you are going to get done. All of the things that you need to get done. That’s easily [00:41:00] something that you can start in high school. Um, you pretty much know you get a syllabus, you know, what’s coming, you know, when your exams are happening and when papers are due.
So I would start testing out different, um, ways to one plan your time, and also how you study. Oftentimes in college. One of the big pluses I would say is you do get to manage your schedule a lot more. It’s not that 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM every single day. And then you have practice or club meetings afterwards.
You can choose to stack all of your classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, and then have the rest of the week to. You know, do your homework and study. Um, you get a lot more say over your schedule, which does make it a little bit easier to time manage. Um, and it also allows you, if you’re a morning person or a night person to kind of avoid having classes.
We’re having to do your homework in periods of time, where you might not be as productive. Um, so test things out now, and then once you get to college, [00:42:00] it will be a little bit easier. Um, again, because you do get to change your schedule, maybe not as a freshman, it’s harder to get the classes that you want at the times you want, but you still have some, um, autonomy over when you’re staying.
All right. So our next question is where do I find? Where would I find the most social approachable people? I’ve had bad experiences with being. So I’m going to guess that this is a high school student and that this was a high school experience. Um, I will say just kind of, as in my experience and in a lot of my friends experiences as well, college is just a different atmosphere.
Um, usually you’re on your own for the first time. And so everyone’s going through this self discovery in my experience at Cal, um, it felt like all of that. Cliquiness that could happen in high school. Uh, wasn’t really there because everyone else is also trying to figure out what they want to do in college, [00:43:00] what they want to do when they graduate.
They’re trying to find new friends and trying to find new things that they’re interested in. Um, so I would say if you could join a club, um, that’s usually the best way to just get your feet in the door. Maybe get some people who can then do other things outside of those club meetings with you. And to find that.
There will be so many flyers on campus. There’s always clubs who are out tabling or having events. It’s a very welcoming environment, usually on college campuses where everyone just wants to get involved. Um, so I would be really, really surprised unless it’s a professional organization or a sorority or fraternity where you go through recruitment.
So it’s a little bit more stringent on who they accept overall. I would be extremely surprised if that’s still the case.
Wonderful. Um, so, and at this time there, the next question is it’s difficult. These days to get a fulfill about [00:44:00] culture by tradition, school, spirit, et cetera. When the campus stores are being held only an outdoor spaces, what recommendations do you have? Yeah, I think that, um, COVID and everything being either outdoors or online, it is a lot harder to figure out if you would be a good fit, um, to figure out the culture.
I will say at least when I was going through this application process, um, a lot of my gut feelings happen outside of the buildings and happen just walking around. Seeing how students interacted with each other. Um, so it will say, you know, don’t totally lay down the law on the outdoor spaces yet. Uh, but I, I think joining those groups, whether it’s an online group via Facebook or other social medias, or talking to an alumni, maybe one that went to your high school, those are really great ways to figure out for yourself kind of how students interact there.
Um, and if you’re. [00:45:00] Aren’t able to find one of those groups or there aren’t any alarms at your school. Um, again, you can kind of call the admissions office and see what events they have for new or possibly incoming students. Even if they’re not, in-person usually schools have some sort of acceptance day where you actually get to meet other students who are potentially coming to the school.
And that’s also a great way to kind of feel that out because that will be your. So you’ll have a lot of, um, classes and be doing a lot of things with people who are coming into college the same year you are. All right. Thank you, Caitlyn. Um, next question for you is what websites are helpful in discovering the best colleges for specific.
Specific fields of study. Yeah, that’s a great question. Um, again, Google is your best friend. Um, Navient is a great place to start. There’s also always, uh, uh, business and world report that comes out. If you just type in, you know, top [00:46:00] schools for Axe area study, there should be a plethora of lists that come up.
Um, so I would definitely get on Google if you can’t find it for whatever reason, um, You can kind of go through and instead look at a certain school you had in mind, see if they have a program that similar and often times Googling like that specific program name could be a great way to see what other schools, um, have similar opportunities.
Alrighty. Um, if you are interested in an enclosed type of campus that is not open to the public to walk through, uh, what should your search criteria be when researching it on Google? That is a great question. Um, I was also on an open campus. Uh, I think the biggest thing is usually those are smaller private schools.
Um, so if that’s something that’s really important to you look up the top private schools in the state that you’re looking to go to school in. Um, [00:47:00] another thing that you can do is a lot of big universities have multiple campuses. So instead of looking up each one individually, But say the UCS, for example, you can look up kind of the policy for all of the state schools as a whole.
Um, so that might cut down that research time a little bit, just Googling. Do the university of California have an open campus or not, or university of Washington. Um, and I think just making sure open campus is in your search should populate all the information that. And just one additional step I’ll add here.
It’s just, um, again kind of mirroring Caitlin’s, um, answer for Google, but using Google images because when you Google Emmy’s campus, um, you’ll have, you’ll get a really clear insight as to whether that campus is enclosed just by you looking at it, or if it’s just like, you know, uh, in the middle of fifth avenue, New York city.
So, um, I would say use Google images as well. [00:48:00] Um, all right. At this point in time, uh, We don’t have any more questions in the Q and a, um, so, uh, at this point in time, we’ll go ahead and, uh, in the, uh, Q and a session. Um, so thank you everyone for coming out tonight and thank you to our panel. Um, that is the end of the webinar.
Uh, we had a really amazing time telling you about finding the right college community and here is the rest of our December series. Um, be sure to go ahead and mark all of those dates in your calendar, uh, for upcoming sessions, uh, through CollegeAdvisor and at this point in time, have a wonderful evening.
Thank you all. Bye everyone.