By: Sandra Gardella-Cherry, College Navigator and Education Consultant
Start with the end in mind.
There are so many colleges out there. Thinking about which colleges you want to apply to can be like trying to figure out what to eat at a dessert buffet. There are so many options and you would be happy with almost any choice. But, you want to pick the right fit for you. So where do you begin? Try starting with the end in mind. By identifying your wishes list early on, you will be able to focus your search on colleges that have what you want.
Visualization is a Powerful Tool
Find a quiet place and sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Have a pencil or pen and paper available for later.
Take a few moments to clear your mind by taking a some deep breaths. Close your eyes, take a breath in through your nose to the count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 7 and release the breath through your mouth to the count of 8. Do this exercise 5-8 times or until you feel relaxed. Your breath will be slow and steady.
Once your mind is clear and relaxed, close your eyes and think about yourself a year (2 or 3) from now. You are on a college campus. Tune into your senses as you imagine yourself walking across campus, sitting in class, having lunch in the dining court, meeting people in the commons, studying in the library, making plans for the weekend and returning to your residence hall at the end of the day.
What do you see? Are you sitting in an auditorium with 300 hundred students or is it a classroom with 30 students? Are you walking across a lawn or crossing a busy street? Are you spending your Saturday afternoon at a Division I football game, roaming city streets or hiking at a nearby park? Is the sound of traffic outside your room music to your ears? Do you enjoy the smell of the outdoors or do you yearn for the smell of bakeries on your way to class? Enjoy what you imagine college will be like. Where does your mind keep taking you and what do you see?
When you are ready, come back to the present. Write down what you saw, heard, sensed and smelled. Be as descriptive as possible and write without worrying about grammar or spelling. What you envisioned may be the first step to discovering where you want to spend your college years!
Now use your resources to find the college and campus that meet your qualifications. The school and its campus will be your home for the next four years. Do not underestimate how important campus life is to a great college experience.
Sandra Gardella-Cherry, M.Ed., A.C.C., is a licensed school counselor with 25 years of experience and certified life coach. Growing up just north of the Boston, Sandra has always been around sports. So when she relocated to a community outside of Washington, DC. in 2011, it was natural for her to be drawn to the highly competitive and successful athletic programs in the schools. Due to the level of athleticism, her students were being recruited by colleges and seeking athletic scholarships. Through her passion and experience, she has assisted many student athletes and their families to successfully navigate the world of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Sandra is a College Navigator & Education Consultant for My College Navigation Hub. Schedule a free consultation to learn how Sandra works with students, student athletes and their families.