Many parents and high school juniors are on the road this week touring colleges. I hope you all packed your sense of humor and some emotional armor. I also hope that you take notes. They will help you later as you consider options – and I’d love to hear your stories!

Here are a few memories that students and parents have shared with me:

·      “I remember I refused to get out of the car at one university because if I am going to wear the sweatshirt for the rest of my life, I need to like the mascot and colors!"

·      “While touring the campus and looking into different classrooms, there was a nude person modeling, which was a shock to me! I also figured that it must be an enlightened and liberal place!”

·      “My daughter and I toured a large university with a group of boys from some detention center. As a social worker I was like, ‘that's great that they're showing them a college campus’ – as a mom I was like, ‘hell NO!’”

·      “The reason I didn’t choose one school was because a bird pooped on me during the tour.”

·      “My friends and I took a road trip through North and South Carolina during spring break of junior year. The mom in charge gave us ranking cards for each school during the tour and we did a 1 to 10 ranking analysis afterward.” Great idea! Made the stressful college search a bit more fun.

·      “I actually only toured two local schools – great schools but, in retrospect, I wish I had taken more time to research schools and to look into scholarship opportunities.”

A little closer to home are two stories from my brother-in-law.

·      The family came to visit a certain school that was the rival basketball school during my brother-in-law’s college days. He just flat refused to get out of the car for the tour. He couldn’t do it. Good thing his son picked a different school!

·      And, speaking of that different school, my brother-in-law’s alma mater, they visited when his daughter was accepted to see if it felt like a good fit. She committed during the reception and he broke down in tears. Sweet!

Send me some tales from the trail. Best wishes in your travels and I hope that your visits help to sort out which features and factors will make a school into a match for your student. Mary