Chart your course: Before you embark, map out your adventure.
Three things to define your college search process:
1) Location: Platform and context for your experience. It’s the stage and setting for your adventure. Find a place to thrive.
2) Values: Mission matters. Search from the inside out. Get below the shallow surface.
3) Learning edge: Seek opportunities for growth. Find a seamless classroom and community learning lab. Cultivate all kinds of knowledge.
Enjoy the voyage: Be present.
Three ways to be engaged in your college search:
1) Recognize, it’s not a perfect process. Make the most of it. Ignore the clutter; communicate early and often.
2) Set parameters. Determine what is negotiable and non-negotiable. Always frame your conversations. Manage expectations.
3) Embrace the moments. Create memories. Take lots of pictures. Consume the local culinary treats.
It’s a layover, not the final destination: A snapshot of your journey.
Three points to frame how college might fit in the big picture we call life:
1) A long pit stop on life’s journey. Be relieved, not disappointed. It is still a time to grow, discover, and transform.
2) Your degree won’t define you. It is not a trophy, it is a privilege. The learning doesn’t end here.
3) The experience is your legacy. Make it worthwhile. There are 3,000+ examples.
This is not the end. Though I am concluding my nine year plus run as an admissions counselor, I remain in the industry. Next month, I will become a college counselor at a Catholic girls high school in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley. From gatekeeper to pathfinder. I look forward to sharing my journey as I transition to secondary school and guide my inaugural cohort of students seeking admissions in Fall 2017. A new adventure indeed. Stay tuned and see you next month.
#ThickEnvelope is a monthly column that can be read exclusively on AsAmNews. Patrick Gabriel Lorenzo is Associate Director of Admissions at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA and a graduate of both a University of California campus and a regional private college. He has nearly 15 years of experience in higher education spanning public and private institutions. He is a firm believer in access, against the notion of college acceptances being a prize to be won, and promotes the idea of searching colleges from the inside out. Patrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions.