Posts Tagged ‘college’

Four Words

Tomorrow I will begin what is likely to be my last school year. My fifteenth “first day of school” (I skipped a year of college). Optimism and uncertainty abound, like any student about to embark on a new year. There’s a lot to look forward to as a senior at Wake Forest.

Although I’m sure I will learn quite a bit in my classes, I’m certain my experiences outside of the classroom are the ones that I will cherish the most. I didn’t fully realize this when I first arrived in Winston-Salem, but I now understand that my classes are a vehicle for helping me interpret the world outside of the classroom. Recent experiences such as a conversation with the CEO of one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, mourning the death of one of the greatest Americans (Maya Angelou), or a day on the set of a feature Hollywood film have all come unexpectedly — and I’m sure my mind will continue to expand in ways that I can’t predict.

My english professor last spring was one of those people who fulfilled on his potential to “change the way you think”. He didn’t begin our course with a syllabus; he began with four words.


adj. Intended to ward off evil.


adj. 1. Excessively determined. 2. Having more than one determining psychological factor.


n. Indignation or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance.


adj. 1. Of or concerning the appreciation of beauty or good taste. 2. Characterized by a heightened sensitivity to beauty.
n. 1. A guiding principle in matters of artistic beauty and taste; artistic sensibility. 2. An underlying principle, a set of principles, or a view often manifested by outward appearances or style of behavior.

He believed that the behavior of the characters in the literature (and life) is often rooted in these words; thus a useful interpretation mechanism. I hope to keep these words in mind during this next year.

Go Deacs!


08 2014

The College Search Process

In the past few months I have been driving around dozens of college campuses, in search of a school where I will be happy at studying as an undergraduate. The process has been very lengthy thus far, and certain resources have made finding the right information a lot easier. Essentially the admissions office at any school is the sales team for their institution, and almost all of the schools today start sending out information e-mails and brochures years before fall of senior year. A lot of the brochures are helpful to understand some of the statistical information at each school, but I’ve found that nothing replaces the individual conversations with students on campus or student review sites. The most insightful information that I have come across is through little tips on college tours while school is in session. Seeing and hearing students interacting on campus is the best way to understand if the students at the school are the people you would enjoy being friends with for the next few years.

For the times when you need more in depth information about either the questions many people are afraid to ask, or just want a second opinion on a certain issue, the web has become an excellent resource.

My favorite site that provides up to date and straightforward information is Pronounced “uni-go”, the site launched a couple years ago with a mission to bypass the misinformation told in college information guides and offer valuable student reviews. Each school has a general overview written by one of the Unigo editors, then visitors can navigate to the individual opinions from current and former students. They have recently partnered with The Wall Street Journal to provide various video segments on a wide array of topics in the college admissions process. Similar informational sites based around student reviews include and

One interesting resource that a I stumbled upon a few months ago is the service named WiseChoice. The service works similar to a dating site profile, where you answer several thorough questionnaires about your likes and dislikes. Personally, I haven’t used the site extensively but they claim to match you with the best school for your needs.

Many students know about these sites today, and ask why colleges would bother sending informational brochures in the mail and email invites to open houses when that surely costs the institution a great deal of money. In reality the schools are actually very capable of affording these promotions. Go figure: School X sends out information book, total cost $1. Student applies to school, school generates $50 for application fee. The ROI is pretty substantial, especially if the student chooses to enroll.



08 2010