Junior year is known to be the year full of a crazy amount of stress. Between the rigorous coursework, studying for the SATs/ACTs, and exploring colleges, we have a lot on our plates. And that’s just academically. Then COVID had to hit, making junior year that much harder. Standardized testing dates continue to get canceled, and a huge blow is the absence of in person college tours. This area has definitely affected me the most. Not only do I feel like I am constantly attending one and a half hour virtual visits, but I barely feel like I’m getting anything out of it! I have constantly heard that your desired school will become obvious to you as soon as you step on its campus. Clearly, that logic is currently hard to apply. I have probably virtually toured around eighteen schools and I can only tell you what two of the campuses look like. Not to mention, I don’t even know that if what the schools are marketing is accurate. For instance, most schools I visit rave on and on about their bustling college town and all of the activities you can do there. Me, being very naive, take their word for it and place those schools high on my list. It took me a couple weeks later where I had a conversation with my sister to realize just how “crummy” the actual college town was. She was shocked that I had that misconception. This made me wonder how many other characteristics I have gotten wrong.
In the beginning of the school year my friend Henry Shell and I started a podcast called “Why Did You Choose?” to help solve a lot of these problems. Each episode we interview a current college student from a different school to help high school juniors and seniors get more insight into the school. Our questions cover many different areas so most likely, all of the important questions will be answered. The questions talk about academics, size, greek life, school spirit, sports, internships, advisors, traditions, housing, food, and more. These questions aren’t just answered as if they were facts you could find on the school’s website, but the student discusses how they feel about each category. Because it is from the perspective of the student, rather than the college that is trying everything in their power to seem perfect, the answers are very raw. There is no sugar coating- if an aspect of the student’s school is disliked by him or her, he or she won’t be afraid to say it. The final question we ask the student is “Why did you choose this school?”, hence the name of the podcast.
You can listen to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, Pocketcasts, Radiopublic, or Anchor. Just simply search for “Why did you choose?”. Our instagram is @whydidyouchoosepodcast. Give us a follow and DM us with requests for colleges or if you want to be interviewed! We hope that this resource can help make your college search process easier.