Three to four percent of the US population has passports. It’s stats like these that remind me how lucky I was to have the experience to study abroad. I’m reminded of all of this as I sit in the Pharmacy Building as part of the panel of past study abroad students. I am here in order to answer questions and offer advice to students who are studying abroad next semester. All this has really done is remind me how envious I am of 2011 Andrew!
This time a year ago I was scrambling to get in my info and prepare myself for my trip to Italy. I remember coming to this exact room and feeding off of all the words of panel members who had already experienced their time abroad. As a student I imagined what wonders I would be experiencing soon. Now as a panel member, I find myself reminiscing on the awesome experiences I ended up having.
It’s also a nice chance to give back to a program that did so much for me. It wasn’t my own force of will that got me to Italy (as much as I wish that were the case). The incredibly well coordinated efforts of the Center for Global Education were the real driving force behind my travels, with a special thanks to Sarah Barnes.
To end this post, I’ll leave you with a video that nicely encapsulates the excitement of the international community.
For the next few months, the majority of my posts will be directed at graduating high school seniors, given the nature of this job, the timing, and the relationship I should have with my readership. Relationships. That sounds like a good place to start, no matter how poor of a transition it took to get there.
There goes ma' lady.
Also speaking of timing, it is a key factor for relationships among high school and college age students. Realize it’s completely out of one’s control. All of us are in a phase of our lives that will involve much changing, maturing, and moving. We aren’t going to be a in a stable environment for at least four years (unless you feel like living in a dorm for the rest of your life and living off of an Easy Mac diet), making any relationship difficult to maintain.
For those heading off to different colleges than their girlfriend or boyfriend, be prepared for a few difficult months. I would never say that it’s impossible, only that the rarest exceptions survive it. If it should go sour (and this will doubtless be hard, emotionally speaking) at least there will be a community of professors, friends, and fun to get your mind off of it.
Do not think of this as a reprimand, or advice even. Only a cautionary tale. The idea being that you won’t trot into what you had imagined to be a cake walk but learn to find is a boiled-spinach-and-beats walk.
(Note: I may speak wise words but that doesn’t mean I live by them. I’m as subject to emotions as anyone and currently am dating a wonderful girl who both lives in a different state and will be residing in another continent for the summer. But hey, what can ya do?!)
Tagged: advice, Andrew Erlandson, college, dating, graduating, high, relationship, relationships, school, seniors, transition
I’m going to take a break from my normal routine of speaking on all of my doubtless fascinating stories and adventures through Italy, and focus instead on one wonderful person in my life: my sister!!! She is currently a high school senior embroiled in the internal and external struggle over the college choice. I’m writing, for her and others, tips on how to make this choice easier.
Obviously, we need to start from somewhere. I’m going to assume that at this point in the game, one already knows the basics of the school they want (student body size, urban or rural, liberal arts or specialized, etc). The problem comes down to those schools that are close enough in the external qualities. The secret is getting a closer look at what the school really holds.
Campus Visit: Obviously, brochures will only give you about 10% of the information necessary to make this choice. If you were to make a visit to Butler (link here), there are also many things to consider.
1) Professors: Meet with the men and women who will be instructing you for four years. If they have similar academic interests as you, you will garner more from their classes. Trust your gut: a professor that appears fascinating in a conversation will probably turn out like that in the lesson (and this holds for negative qualities).
2) Students: Meet with students, preferably in your area of interest. You will get the best feel of the campus from them: what are the classes like, what’s the energy of the student body, do they enjoy themselves on campus, etc. Not to mention that it’s about a thousand times easier to feel connected to a school if you make the effort to know the students.
3) Extracurriculars: You probably have an idea of what you want to commit yourself to for the four years of college. Get out of the academic buildings and see how the university shapes up to your expectations. Let’s say you were into rock climbing: I can guarantee you the the president of this or any Butler Club would love to meet with perspective students, show them what the life on campus is like outside of class and on the…wall? I’m regretting this hypothetical situation.
Tagged: advice, Andrew Erlandson, Butler, college search, high school, list, planning, seniors, suggestions, tips, university