Choosing a college can feel a little bit like launching yourself into space: you get a lot of advice and training from your ground crew, but ultimately you’re headed into uncharted territory. When you’re choosing among your higher education options, it helps to know what you’re trying to get out of the experience and what style of learning works for you. So before you start filling out those awful application essays, take this quiz and narrow the playing field.
1. The point of college is
A. preparing for a career.
B. broadening your mind.
C. learning a useful skill.
D. to be able to say you went to college.
2. As an adult, you see yourself
A. dominating your chosen field.
B. hosting lively dinner parties.
C. leading a simple, satisfied life.
D. you have no idea; WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP EXPECTING YOU TO HAVE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS?
3. You thrive best
A. competing with people as driven as you are.
B. letting ideas marinate and develop.
C. in comfortable, familiar surroundings.
D. doing your own thing.
4. Pick an outfit:
A. Power suit.
B. Neon onesie.
C. Comfortable blue jeans, softest t-shirt.
5. You arrive at a hedge maze. You
A. calculate the fastest route using the position of the sun and the Pythagorean theorem.
B. wander around inside, contemplating who might have grown this thing.
C. get a pair of hedge cutters and plow through.
D. walk around the outside. It’s not an infinite maze.
6. Your motto is:
A. 10% Inspiration 90% Perspiration.
B. Dream big.
C. Small things with great love.
D. Not all those who wander are lost.
7. Money is
A. rude to talk about.
B. the root of all evil.
C. hard to come by.
D. a weird societal construct.
8. Your family
A. expects as much from you as you expect from yourself.
B. thinks you’re a goofball, but you’ll land on your feet.
C. believes you are responsible for your own future.
D. is pressuring you to figure out your future before you’re ready.
This way to your future…
Mostly As: Ivy League: If you’re driven, confident, and know what you want, go ahead and shoot for the stars! A competitive, small school will be best for you, where your Professors know you by name, and you emerge with a degree that’ll put you in the corner office/laboratory/house of Congress of your dreams.
Mostly Bs: Liberal Arts School: So you have some idea of what you’re interested in, but you also want room to grow and change. You belong in a liberal arts school, where your mind will be stretched in new directions, you’ll meet people who challenge your views, and you will learn to say “let’s toss a Frisbee on the quad” with a straight face.
Mostly Cs: Community College: Go get yourself a valuable education without dropping the BILLIONS OF DOLLARS required for a four-year degree. There’s nothing wrong with being pragmatic, and you can always take your credits and transfer if you want.
Mostly Ds: School of Life: Here’s a radical thought: not everyone graduates from high school magically prepared to plunge straight into higher education. Here’s an even more radical thought: depending on what you want to do, you might not want to go to college at all. So rather than following the pack, go take a trip, get a job, and let the world be your university.