Get Your Kids Excited For College

Jonathan KillionEver since our son was born, whenever we went anyplace (and I mean any place) we tried to find time to sneak in a campus visit to whatever college or university was near-by. We did this mostly in the U.S. but also a bit in Canada and in Europe. During his grammar and high school years we probably visited 75 to 100 campuses without ever once really going out of our way to make a college visit. And it didn’t really matter to us which schools we were visiting. We wanted him to experience all types from the biggest to the smallest and from the most prestigious ( the Yales, Harvards, MITs, Notre Dames of the world) to the lesser known ones including such fine schools as Appalachian State and Reed College.

Sometimes, if we had time, we would pop into the admissions office to see if we could get a tour or talk with someone and sometimes we would just walk the campus, talk with students we met, visit the book store to buy a cap (all hanging in his room) and find the gym so he could shoot some hoops with my husband. In our journeys we visited a range of colleges from Cornell and Colgate to University of North Carolina to University of South Carolina to Vanderbilt to the University of Florida to Rice, University of Texas, University of Washington and many more.

In the fall, for several years, my husband and Jonathan would have a “boys” weekend together at a major campus for a football game so Jonathan got to experience that aspect of college life. These trips took him to the University of Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Duke, Texas Tech and others.

In the winters they would find basketball games to go to including at Lehigh, St. Johns and others.

During his younger years we tried to get a week off between Christmas and New Years to get away. This gave us the opportunity to visit universities in London, Paris, Rome and Montreal.

When Jonathan was ready to decide where to apply for college we didn’t have to make any special last minute trips. He knew the part of the country that he liked (the north-east) and the type of college environment and program that appealed to him. He settled on Georgetown, an absolutely great selection for him, because of its DC location, its undergraduate business school degree, its nationally ranked basketball program and its strong alumni group in this part of the country.

Using this approach we never had to deal with the issue of whether or not Jonathan would go to college and we never dealt with the uncertainty of picking the “right” place. On every trip the side excursion to a new college to visit was always a highlight. To share ideas and thinking email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last modified onTuesday, 19 March 2013 15:52
Judy Chapman

Judy Chapman founded Garden State Woman, Inc. in 1998 and the Garden State Woman Education Foundation 501(c)3 in 2007. In recognition of the need for women everywhere, including New Jersey, to take firmer control of their futures and their families’ futures - in a world that is still not equally balanced between the opportunities and rewards provided men and women - for equal efforts in many aspects of their personal and professional lives.

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