Christina Bergamo is the Director of College Counseling at Trinity Hall. Questions? Email [email protected].
Finding the Perfect “Fit”
I am often asked what the number one factor in choosing the ideal college should be. And without a doubt my answer is always the same: fit. With thousands of colleges to choose from, it is so important that above all things, a student chooses a college that they feel comfortable attending.
“Fit” goes beyond how big, small, city, or urban, a campus may be. Above all things, the feelings of an ideal fit comes from the people. What are the students like? What are they most passionate about? Do the professors seem accessible? Are they interacting with the students as they walk around campus? Can I see myself spending my time with these students or asking one of the professors for help? At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how perfectly “Harry Potter-esque” your academic buildings are, what matters is whether or not you have the people to support you when you are away from home. During late nights at the library, or after the hardest test of your educational career, having friends that you can rely on when your life-long support system is far away, is critical.
It can go without saying that the best way to capture the campus environment of any college is by visiting. At Trinity Hall, we start college campus visit season the first week of each school year. This year, after the first day of school welcome, our sophomore class departed on an overnight trip to visit four colleges in the Philadelphia/Princeton area and our junior class embarked on a three-day, eleven college tour throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. When creating the itineraries for these trips, my main goal is to expose the girls to as many different schools as possible, so that at the end of the trip each student can say they visited at least one college that they would feel comfortable attending.
As our students begin navigating through the college application process I urge each one of them to visit each of the schools they are considering applying to. Sit on the quad and watch the students walk by, pick up a copy of the campus newspaper, try and envision what it would be like to walk through the campus each day, interact with the faculty, staff, and administrators there. One of the scariest parts about college is moving away from home, but when we’re able to find a home away from home, it makes the transition a little less daunting.