Let’s talk about college.
No, seriously. I just finished and submitted my application for school number 3 [out of 6] around 20 minutes ago, and I’m feeling it, so let’s go! Specifically, we’re going to talk about college and applications and how all of that stuff affects those of us who are travel-minded.
Yes, I just made that term up. No, I’m not going to use something else.
So everyone knows that college applications are a huge drain, but they don’t have to be. [Chances are, they’ll end up being a huge drain anyway, but here’s how you can get the most out of it.]
1. Use college tours as an excuse to travel.
Seriously, I got to spend a week in New York because I had a passing interest in NYU and my mother wanted her daughter to take a look at Columbia. If your parents aren’t always willing to let you go out and see the world, this is a great opportunity to take a trip to a different part of the country together, even if it’s only a few hours away.
2. Start looking into schools with good study abroad programs.
You might be surprised by what you find. Stanford, if you get in, pretty much lets you go abroad for free, and there are other schools with higher acceptance rates with great opportunities to stretch your wings somewhere else too.
3. Gap year or nah?
For those of you with the cash, a gap year is a kickass way to bridge the space between free school and expensive school. With all seriousness, gap years are becoming more common in America, and even come recommended by schools like Harvard. The obvious choice here is to spend that time traveling, but if you’re short on cash, you can try six months of work and six months of travel instead. The options are limitless! [Please note that some schools don’t let you postpone your enrollment, so factor that in when making plans.]
4. Find a school you’ll like in a place you’ll love.
Location is a huge part about choosing a college. Personally, I’m applying to schools exclusively located in or around big cities, like LA, San Francisco, and New York. As a suburban girl, it’s definitely out of my comfort zone, but I know I’m going to have the time of my life making new friends and exploring the city I chose to spend four [or more] years in.
5. Have one last ride.
There’s nothing quite as romantic as one big last splashy adventure with your high school gang to commemorate your final summer together. Don’t waste the summer before you go off to college doing the same old thing. Be ambitious, and dream big. Now that college applications season is almost at a wrap, it’s prime time to start drawing all over those maps and hosting late-night chats about all the places you want to go.
My latest adventure: Roaming Wildwood Canyon