As you begin your college search, you begin to think about what you’ll study, whether you’ll attend a large or small institution, whether you’ll play a varsity sport, what clubs and organizations you’ll join and what there is to do around the college of your choice. These are common questions — you’re not alone.
Offering a diverse experience is one of a school’s most attractive features, but how do you know if a college is as diverse as you expect or want it to be? Let’s talk about what to look for to enhance your college experience, and hopefully you’ll feel much better about how easy this part really is!
Make a list.
To start, take a moment to think about all the activities you’ve been involved in and all the activities you’d like to continue or pursue as you move forward. List them, and decide if any are deal-breakers. For example — if you know you must have wrestling as an option, then you know to look for colleges and universities that offer this as a sport. Once you’ve made a list, it’s easier to ask prospective schools if they offer what you’re looking for without forgetting. Your future school will be your new home away from home, and you want to maximize this time to participate and enjoy everything it has to offer. If the club you’re interested in doesn’t exist yet, ask about opportunities to start a club or organization!
Broaden your horizons.
When you hear the word ‘diversity,’ you probably think of people from different ethnicities and social backgrounds. This is something you may want to consider when doing your college search. If you’re seeking a diverse experience, it’s good to look into schools that are located in metropolitan areas. For example, being so close to Washington, D.C., has helped Marymount University’s campus become a beautiful reflection of many different cultures. If you’re a person who is strongly religious and would like to have support on your campus, you’ll need to find out whether the school you’re considering has this to offer. Many schools have various campus ministries, faith clubs and other regular religious gatherings, but it’s important to find out how active these organizations are. Just because a school has a religious organization listed in their brochures doesn’t mean the organization is very active or will be what you’re looking for. If finding a religious community while you’re in college is really important to you, take the time to investigate the culture of the various organizations before you sign the dotted line.
Visit with an open mind when looking for a diverse campus.
It’s easy to fall in love with a school through marketing and advertising brochures. However, the reality is that you need to see for yourself. When you get to campus for a visit, you may find it’s not exactly what you envisioned. Visiting a campus is as important as a school offering your major in terms of making a final decision. It’s four years of your life — do the research, ask questions and visit! And don’t forget to check out the surroundings of the college or university. Now’s the time to look for the right fit. You’re investing in four years of your life to come!