Colleges Agree: You Don’t Have to Have it all Figured Out


Lindsey Powell, Journalist

With application deadlines quickly approaching, upperclassmen are facing the pressures of life outside of high school, and for those of us hoping to attend a college or university, it can all seem a bit overwhelming.

Whether you’re struggling with committing to a school or even to a major, the Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (CACRAO) college fair allowed students from all of Union County to put their fears to rest and ask their most pressing questions to representatives of over 150 schools, both in-state and out-of-state. From the University of Tennessee to Georgia State and Liberty University, students had the opportunity to explore options they may have never considered.

“[L]ook outside of your comfort bubble,” recommended Auburn University Undergraduate Admissions Advisor Lenzy Rodriguez. “If you are thinking about in-state only, look out of state. If you’re thinking about law school, also look at liberal arts colleges. Look all across the board, and tour at least five schools if you’re able to.”

If you have your five schools narrowed down, tours for the majority of institutions are as easy as clicking a button on a website. Some schools, like Lenoir-Rhyne University, offer an incentive to students who schedule their tours two weeks in advance, enabling them to sit down and talk with someone in their program of interest and sit-in on a lecture. For those who are more comfortable in a larger setting, open houses are pre-determined, with dates promoted on a school’s website.

When you’re visiting the campus, ask yourself if the school is a good fit for you. “Go somewhere where you’re comfortable. I would start off by looking at the programs that are offered, weeding out exactly what it is you want to do, and go from there,” said Christopher DuPree, Senior Admissions Coordinator at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. “You know, a lot of students, they look for different things when they’re looking for schools, whether it be sports, whether it be clubs or organizations.”

If you don’t know what you want to do, don’t worry! Many schools offer an undecided pathway specifically designed to allow students to experiment with different majors without the commitment; however, many schools does not mean all schools. Before you apply to a school as an undecided student, make sure to confirm that it is offered at your institution. Remember, you’ll be spending at least four years here, so ask questions, and make sure it’s where you want to be.

Taylor King, Admissions Counselor at the University of South Carolina Beaufort urged students to dig deeper. “Don’t be afraid to ask for free waivers. Don’t be afraid to ask, you know, like why are your colors blue? Why are you called the sandsharks? Why can’t I have a dog in my room?” said King. “Ask questions. Seriously, ask them.”

This is your first truly independent act as a young adult, and while it’s an important one, don’t let the pressure get to you. There’s plenty of time to change your mind over and over again, and there’s time to get connected with different activities and organizations.

Dupree changed his major three times when he was in college. “I thought I knew what I wanted to do every other year or every semester, and, you know, it added to my time. So, I took the fun route,” he laughed.

No matter what you decide, you’ll take away something from every class, every interaction, every application. Enjoy this next step in your life, and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.