Juniors: Researching Yourself and the Colleges

Last week, we asked you to start evaluating your academic record as you begin to work on your initial list of colleges. As you continue to "research yourself," here are some questions to ask about how you learn. This is important because college is a learning environment, and you need to honestly evaluate yourself as a student in order to figure out what schools are best for you.

Again, keep in mind that there are no "right" answers. You're just mining for information. Here are some questions to give you a start:

Are you happiest when you are (a) significantly challenged and must be ever energetic in your efforts to keep up; (b) growing along with the rest of your classmates; or (c) learning while comfortably at the top of your class?

Are there any circumstances, such as a learning disability, that have impacted your academic performance?

What has been the best learning environment for you— a large lecture class or a small discussion group?

Is it important to you to have close relationships with your teachers?

What kind of schedule is best for you?

For more thought-provoking questions about your interests and activities, personality, and the colleges which interest you, see Chapter 8, "Creating an Initial List of Colleges",  in College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step. And check out this guest blog from college counselor Eric Dobler about the value of exploring your skills, values and personality characteristics.



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