Tuesday, July 26, 2016

BLOG-IVERSARY: Letter to Myself

Hi everyone and Happy July 26th! Today, Chasing College is celebrating it's first birthday!! While my plans for this blog developed over months, my first post was published on this day last year! Thank you all for following along and for being my inspiration for this blog.

To celebrate, I thought I'd get personal with you all and write a letter to myself; specifically a letter to the 17-year-old me about to embark on her college journey! While I hope this is entertaining and insightful into why I post the things I do, for those of you struggling with your transition from high school to college or even from college to adult life, just remember you aren't alone!



Dear Me:

First things first, choosing to attend Elmira was the best decision (and will be up to this point) you ever made. While I know that you are terrified of many different things, please know that you will survive and thrive through it all! You will laugh and cry more than you ever have, but you will spend weeks smiling because of the life you have created there for yourself. Take advantage of this opportunity to grow and become the independent self that you know you want to be.

When the opportunities come to get involved on campus, take them! It is perfectly acceptable for you to spend your first semester getting used to your classes and navigating campus. But by Winter, start attending those club meetings that you've always wanted to and for heaven's sake go to the dance studio once in a while. Just because one of your friends doesn't want to go, that doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue something you know you'd enjoy! This will not only help you take a break from studying and reading for that horrid Freshmen Writing Class, but it will help establish friendships that will span your four years and beyond!



Unfortunately Skylar, you will see who your true friends are while you're away at college. College is about learning who you are and what you want out of life, so don't let anyone make you feel like you can't do that. While it will be difficult when friendships end, don't be bitter towards them ... they have their own issues to work on for themselves, as do you. Use this freedom to become introspective on what you want out of your college experience and on what you want out of life in general. The newly found independence in your sophomore year will work wonders for your future career!

I know you don't want to teach and you want to do something more than stand in a classroom all day and talk to kids, but your student teachings and all of those sample lesson plans you write will be worth it. Each experience will connect you home in its own weird way and give you the background you need to be successful at the next level, so take advantage of that! These and the leadership opportunities you gain as an upperclassmen set the stage for something that you will love doing every day. (I won't tell you what it is because I don't want to spoil your "ah-ha" moment.)


Now, for the part I know you want to know ... the boy. While you two just started dating - you two are the only ones you will ever have to explain your relationship to. Hands down, the hardest part about your college experience will be nurturing and supporting this relationship, but Skylar, it will be worth it. Your feelings are your feelings and they will never change, but remember you have to stick up for yourself too! There will be heartbreak at times as you both attempt to grow and experience college, but follow your heart because it will lead you right where you want to be ... and yes, you will get the ring!

Finally, if there is one thing I, your 23-year-old self, wants you to know, it is this: Stay true to who you are and what you believe. Your faith and your personal convictions will be both tested and strengthened during college and even grad school (yes, you will get in to grad school so don't worry about that B in History of Recent America). Take the time to make decisions, friendships, interviews, jobs, memories, and everything else in life exactly how you want them to be. These next six years will be a crazy ride, but your parents, sister, and the boy, as well as, all of the amazing friends you have yet to meet will help make it every ounce of the perfection you always strive for! Much love!

enjoy the chase,
skylar



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Life Update: I HAVE A JOB!

Hi everyone! I hope you all are having a great week - whether you're planning for college or grad school visits, preparing for entrance exams, or even just relaxing! For those of you who follow me on Instagram (@skylarclapperton) you know that I recently started a new job and for the rest of you who didn't know ... today I am going to talk about it!

So, anyone who has gone through the job search process knows how horribly time consuming and frustrating it can be. You have to continuously fill out applications, update your resume and cover letters, and hopefully travel for interviews. I am a goal setter ... I always haven been (examples here and here) and my reachable goal was to start a job by July 1st and thanks to Independence Day, I wasn't able to start until July 6th, but in my mind I kind of reached my goal!

My view every day at work ... incredible!

Nonetheless, I am very excited to announce that I accepted a position as an Assistant Director of Admissions with Hartwick College (yes, the same Hartwick College from the Northeast Road Trip)! A lot of times in my posts I will mention how important it is to find a college that fits your needs ... finding a place to work is no different. You want to be in a supportive environment where you are able to do what you love and still grow as a person. This is exactly what I believe I have found in this position at Hartwick.

What will I be doing you ask? Great question ... I will be traveling across the state recruiting fine students to attend Hartwick College, as well as, meeting with school counselors to talk to them about a Hartwick College education. I also meet with students when I am working in the office to do their Admissions Interview. Once the application season starts in the Fall, I will also be reviewing students' applications. There's also a lot of other day-to-day tasks like managing student workers and planning events with my colleagues. The position requires a lot of responsibility, but I am very excited for it and can't wait to see what the future brings!


One thing that I do want to mention to you all as my readers is that I purposely don't promote any university or college on this blog specifically because I have a day job. I never want this blog or my career to clash or be a conflict of interest in any way, so that is why (other than the Road Trip Series which promoted many various universities (with another disclaimer)) I don't like to talk about colleges and universities by name.

Please let me know if you all have any questions about my new job, I would love to answer them and I'd love to hear any of your job search stories too, so please share below! Have a great weekend everyone!!


enjoy the chase,
skylar



Saturday, July 16, 2016

Perks of a Small College

Hi everyone and Happy Saturday!! This was my first full week at my new job and I have been loving every second of it! I will be sharing a life update soon, but I first wanted to share something else I have a passion for ... small colleges!!

You may be thinking to yourself, that's a random passion to have ... but its something that I truly do believe in! Attending a small college or university can give you a ton of great opportunities that you may not think they'd offer .... but don't worry they do. Today I am sharing all of those wonderful aspects of life at a small college that may help you decide to visit or even enroll at one!



First things, something I hear A LOT is this, "well, I go to a large high school now and I just don't think I would do well at a small college," or this, "my school is so small, the last thing I want is to be in high school again." While these may be accurate, you need to think about the scales and ranges of these places. A large high school (in my opinion) is like 300+ students within a grade level. A small college is usually 350-700 students within a year level. So, think, if you're perfect for your environment of 400 students, you would probably be just as perfect for that university with 500 Freshmen.

You may also be thinking, "I want a lot of opportunities for courses and clubs." Believe it or not, the size of college does not impact the number of opportunities for courses or clubs, it is the environment and culture that does that. Do your research because oftentimes smaller colleges will allow you to create a club (and get funding for field trips) if you and your friends can prove that people would want to join it. Your freedom to do this at a large university may be stifled by the number of organizations already present. As for the courses, one thing about liberal arts colleges (which are usually on the smaller size), they have to offer a bunch of varied courses because students need to fulfill distribution requirements that don't overlap, ie: the psychology of dreams, the history of quilting, or the art of fermentation and distillation.

Another perk of attending a small college is that you really get to know your professors because they are the ones who teach. In larger universities, it is oftentimes graduate students or teaching assistants that will teach classes and then the full professor may just pop in every few classes to make sure its going okay. At smaller universities, your professor is who will teach every class for a majority of your courses in that subject matter. Depending on the size and the breadth of the programs offered, this may vary, but you can most certainly be sure that it will be a full professor or an adjunct professor teaching you, not a fellow student. (Students may tutor you, but they won't be up front lecturing about 18th Century France or Osmosis).


You're able to create friend groups that overlap. So with the multitude of opportunities that you get at a small college, also comes the chance to make friends within all of those opportunities. At larger schools, you may feel like you need to stick with your team or your sorority/fraternity in terms of making friends, but at smaller universities you are involved in so many things that you create friendships that way. When I was in college, I had my friends from my French major, from my Admissions jobs, from my Orientation position, and then the random people I met and loved along the way. It is truly amazing to know that you have people you get to spend time with, but don't necessarily have to be around 24/7. Something to think about ...

Some small colleges offer three semesters, as opposed to two, which gives students and faculty the chance to travel for a shorter semester. Now this will differ depending on the college, but that shorter semester gives you the chance to take a class off campus and experience a new culture, without you having to miss a ton of classes for your major! Also, because you've already paid all of your tuition leading up to the travel trip, you will only have a smaller fee to actually go on the trip, rather than take a class on campus. The $2,000-3,000 price tag is a lot cheaper for traveling for three to five weeks than if you were to do that by yourself!


You become familiar with college administrators and all of the resources that you are able to use on campus. At a small campus, word about great student jobs, that administrator who is a perfect club advisor, and the secret stash of popsicles the Health Center gives out during Finals Week gets around rather quickly. So, when you really need a helping hand or have a specific question about your major or how you can access the Library Archives, you will know exactly who you need to see to make it happen! Plus, you will create amazing relationships with administrators who will mentor you for longer than just your four years in college!

So, I hope that today's post shows you just how much you can get from a college experience at a small college! Don't let the size fool you to think that a small size means small opportunities, because that is definitly not the case. I had the time of my life in college because I was at a smaller college and I know that my experience would have been very very different if I attended a larger university.

enjoy the chase,
skylar


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Marketing Your Summer Job

Hi everyone! I hope you all liked the College Road Trip Series from last week. I would appreciate any feedback about it or about future blog posts that you would like to see, so please contact me through the options on my Contact Page or comment below!


Because we are ripe in the middle of Summer and you are most likely counting down the days that you have left in your summer job at the office, factory, or at that sleep-away camp, I wanted to talk with you all about how you can market your summer job for jobs on campus or even for applying to your first 'adult job.'

In 2014, Forbes released a list of ten attributes/skills that employers believe make a college graduate a successful job candidate. Here is the synopsis
  1. Team Work
  2. Decision-making and problem solving
  3. Ability to communicate with people in and out of the organization
  4. Information processing and synthesizing
  5. Ability to analyze data (quantitative and qualitative) 
  6. Specific knowledge related to the position
  7. Understanding of computer software programs
  8. Written communication skills for writing reports
  9. Ability to sell and influence others (Customer Service)
  10. Organization and planning 
You may have read that list and thought to yourself ... 'ummm no, I did not analyze data nor did I use any software this summer.' Which could be true, but you can try really hard to make the valuable experiences you did get from your job this summer fit into those criteria. Let's try!


1. Any job nowadays requires you to work cooperatively with other employees. You can highlight this in a number of ways on your resume! Did you have to work on the same project as someone and divide the responsibilities. While you were life-guarding, was there another lifeguard too who you depending on to watch the shallow end? There are so may examples of team work in your summer job, so make sure you highlight that when you talk about your experience!

2. and 9. These too are pretty similar in that they both deal with customer service and how you are interacting with your constituents (swimmers, shoppers, followers ... etc.) At any point if you had to track someone or something down to make someone's experience better, that is quick decision making and problem solving. Your experience should be written within your resume so that future employers can see how you handle issues that can arise while on the job. If there was an especially defining moment within your summer job where you pulled more than your fair-share, I would highlight that as a great growing opportunity in your Cover Letter!

3. Employers want to know that you are able to talk with your colleagues and talk with customers or other people outside of your job efficiently.  This goes along well with Number 1, but it also works if you've ever done fundraising, had to contact fellow employees in another office, or worked with visitors. If you've ever needed to act professionally among other people, this is where you apply that knowledge. **Also, if you've ever had to present a research poster, this could be applied to this attribute as well!

4. and 5. Processing data isn't always being an accountant or working with a budget. It could be deciding how many tour groups need to go out or even managing the time of the kids in your cabin at Summer Camp. All they want for your experience is that you've looked at data, read it, understood, and then used that to come to a specific conclusion that helps the group you are working for.

6. and 7. So these two may be a little bit more difficult to apply if you were a Camp Counselor and you are applying for a research position, but see if you can find someway to apply it. Did you have to survey all of your campers about the food, activities, or their overall experience and then report it back to your director? That's a great way to show knowledge related to the position. If you are applying to a position in business or education, you can usually use your customer service experience as that specific knowledge. **If you aren't getting anything remotely close to specific knowledge, you may want to ask your director for an extra project or something to better help you grow your experience and resume! Something to also remember, as long as you show that you are flexible and willing to learn, that can replace the knowledge of a specific software system since most companies use different systems!

8. Written communication can be applied from almost any position. Did you write e-mails? Did you write reports? Did you write notes to your students or their parents? Did you proofread manuals for your boss? You would be surprised how much written communication is used consistently throughout any job, just think back on your days at work and locate that experience!

10. Finally, organization is something you need in every job, whether you are hauling lumber into the back of a truck or teaching small children the ABC's. You need to be able to coordinate and keep your thoughts and actions together.  How this could work in your summer job is as simple as organizing the tasks that you needed to do during the day, scheduling appointments, categorizing moving materials, or scheduling when you are going to clean or see different customers. There is organization in everything you do, so think real hard and add that to your resume!!!

So, it may take some highly intense thinking on what you've accomplished so far, but you should be able to find specific experiences throughout your summer job that can apply directly to those ten items Forbes lists in their article. Make sure though that you are making your summer job exactly what it needs to be for you so that you can grow from it in the future!!


enjoy the chase,
skylar

Saturday, July 9, 2016

College Road Trip Series: THE SOUTHWEST

Hey everyone and Welcome to the last day of the Chasing College Road Trip Series!! I hope you all had a great time learning about new schools and can start planning your own college road trip this summer! Out last stop is the Southwestern United States, where the air is dry and the weather is warm!! Let's get started on the final leg of our chase!




CLAREMONT McKENNA COLLEGE
Located within an hour of Los Angeles, the beach, and the mountains, Claremont McKenna College is a great spot for students who have a wide variety of interests. This Claremont, California liberal arts college provides students the opportunities to define their own education through various academic programs, leadership opportunities, and community service outreach. They offer your typical 'liberal arts' majors, but some unique ones include: American Studies, Environmental Analysis Program, Middle Eastern Studies, and Science Management. On your road trip, you will definitely want to check them out so that you can see first hand what their student experience is like!

CMC not only offers hour-long tours twice a day, but they also offer a really detailed information session for visitors before the tour. They cover information about the academic programs, the student experience, the admissions process, and financial aid! You can also schedule an interview with an Admission Counselor while you are visiting to help improve your student profile and so that they can learn more about you before you apply! You can find out all of this information and how to register on their website here.

EASTERN ARIZONA COLLEGE
If you're looking for a community college in the middle of the desert, look no further than Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona! They were the first community college in Arizona and are the only one to have a marching band!! They award Associate's Degrees in a variety of programs including: Automotive, Cosmetology, Graphic Design, and Welding. EAC also offers students a close-nit community with their athletics teams and their campus living options being right on campus. You are not only able to succeed in the classroom, but you are also able to make lasting memories as a  contributing member of the student body!

If attending one of their great Preview Days isn't an option (you get a tour, talk to an admission counselor, see the performance groups, eat on campus, and attend a football or basketball game), then you will want to give the Office of Admissions a call or e-mail to see if you can schedule a one-on-one tour with their office. You can find their contact information and the registration for the Preview Days here.

SOUTHWEST UNIVERSITY OF VISUAL ARTS
This art school, located in Tuscon, Arizona, is a great visit for students who are interested in the anthropological and historical side of art and can be inspired by the clay earth and great history of the Tuscon region! They offer many different programs like Landscape Architecture and Interior Design. They also offer a Master's of Fine Arts Degree for those students who wish to continue on to their terminal degree! Students are also able to get involved in the many career-related organizations, as well as, Army ROTC.

To schedule a visit to campus, you will need to do it here on their website. You fill out a form which is sent back to the Admissions Office and then they will plan your day and tour for you! Taking a tour of SUVA is a great way to see how the students interact and what the facilities look like. If you are travelling far away from home to attend a Southwestern university, it is always important to visit a campus so that you can see how you will be supported in the absence of your family.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
As the largest institution of higher education in New Mexico, the University of New Mexico provides its students with great opportunities for research, career growth, and leadership! Its location in Albuquerque, New Mexico (the state's largest city) allows students to reach out into the community to apply the knowledge of the classroom into internships to help the community and its businesses. They have sixteen different colleges (over 220 different majors) within the university that cover subject areas like the Fine Arts, The Library Sciences, Public Administration, and Nursing. With tons of performance groups, athletics teams, and organization events, there is always something to do on campus and someway to get involved!

UNM offers many different opportunities to visit campus. You can attend an event like Open House or you can schedule a personal tour. The personal visit includes an hour-long tour and a 30-minute information session where an Admission Counselor will talk about the application and admission process, as well as, student life, and financial aid! Reservations are required, so to find out more information you can stop by here and sign up for a visit!

WEST TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
West Texas A&M University is located in the panhandle of Texas, just south of the city of Amarillo. Their medium size and renowned faculty make this a great destination for you or your friends who want a bigger university, but also want to get to know the professors and administrators well! Some of their comprehensive undergraduate programs include: Equine Industry and Business, Wildlife Biology, Emergency Management Administration, and Broadcast Journalism.  The Buffaloes at WTAMU play in Division II for athletic contests and their women's softball team won a National Championship in 2014!

They call it a "WT Test Drive," when you're visiting WTAMU for the first time! The Admissions Office staff wants you to look at their campus just like you would look at buying a new car - making sure it fits you and your needs! (It's actually a great analogy!) Test Drives are offered twice a day in the morning and in the afternoon and include a tour of campus, an admissions presentation, and an opportunity to meet a faculty member if you would like. You can request a tour right on their website here.

SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY
Southern Methodist University is one of those schools that now, I really wish I had looked at during my college search process. It is located in Dallas, Texas and offers a community feel with many research opportunities and chances to be involved in clubs and organizations. SMU is highly ranked and regarded for their art programs as well as, focuses on sustaining resources within the Lyle School of Engineering. Students are also able to get involved in athletics teams, fraternities and sororities, and through research within their majors. As a mustang, you get to 'Pony Up' to your potential!

To visit SMU, you have a few options. You can do a Daily Visit where you attend an Admissions Information Session, a Campus Tour, and an Information Session for your academic department, or you can wait for an Open House event like Mustang Days. Whichever fits your road trip schedule best, you will want to check out all of the options on their website here.

I hope you all had a great road trip across the United States visiting and learning more about a bunch of different options for you and your friends. I really do suggest you and a group of your friends take a couple day road trip to visit some of the schools you all are interested in to see if they really are the right fit for you!! Please let me know if you have any other colleges or universities that you would add to the road trip lists! I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy planning your road trips! As always ...

enjoy the chase,
skylar


Friday, July 8, 2016

College Road Trip Series: THE NORTHWEST

Hi everyone! We are moving on to the great Northwest today on our College Road Trip Series! What's great about the northwest is that it has its own distinct culture and is definitely something you should experience once in your lifetime, even if it is just on a road trip to see some colleges! Let's get started!!




OLYMPIC COLLEGE
Olympic College is located in Bremerton, WA and is right across the water from Seattle, so it has a very prime location for any type of student! OC primarily grants Associate's Degrees, however the Bremerton campus does offer a Bachelor's Degree in the following programs: Nursing, Information Systems, and Mechanical Engineering. If you are hoping to attend a higher profile university in Washington like Gonzaga University or the University of Washington, you may want to start here to earn credits and then transfer those classes very easily into the university of your choice. Some of their articulation agreements are listed on the Olympic College website here!

While the OC website does not offer any information on visiting campus, you can find the Admissions Office's contact information here in order to discuss a tour of campus with an employee! If you are just spending a couple of days in Seattle and want to look around by yourself, you can do that as well by printing out the campus map here and taking it with you while walking around!

PACIFIC NORTHWEST COLLEGE OF ART
The Pacific Northwest College of Art is situated in an art-centered city, Portland, Oregon. This creative city not only provides students with tons of inspiration, but it also lets their business and internship opportunities expand beyond the college's campus. The academic programs that students can pursue include: Animated Arts, Printmaking, and Communication Design. The college also provides students with amazing opportunities to showcase their work in 11 galleries and an acclaimed art museum! If you or a friend within your road trip really wants to experience a creative place and have their artwork shown, you should definitely plan to stop at PNCA.

To schedule a tour, you will need to contact the PNCA Office of Admissions. They are offered Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 10:00am and 2:00pm. You can also meet with an admissions counselor and have you art portfolio reviewed. They also have a virtual tour on their website, so if you want to check out the campus before planning to tour it, you can do that also!! You can check out all of this information here.

WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY 
Located in Salem, Oregon and about an hour away from Portland, Willamette University is a private, liberal arts college that offers a variety of academic programs, but also houses a law school and an MBA program for graduate students. Their undergraduate programs include: American Ethnic Studies, Civic Communication and Media, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Russian. While their liberal arts curriculum leads students to a long career in academics, the student life aspect of campus also allows students to also focus on their community service and volunteer philosophies. All of these things should be important in choosing a school, so visiting the campus allows you to see them first-hand.

When you check out their website here, you will see why visiting this gorgeous campus should certainly be on the top of your Northwest Road Trip list! The Admissions Office staff will help you plan your visit whether you want to go on a campus tour, sit in on a class, or just talk with current students. It is a really great opportunity to understand what all Willamette University has to offer students so definitely take advantage of visiting campus!

BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY
Boise State University is situated in the southwestern corner of Idaho State. This large, research university offers a small college feel with all of the amazing opportunities that a larger university offers. You can study one of their many programs like: Addiction Studies, Entrepreneurship Studies, Respiratory Care, or Internal Auditing, while taking advantage of their esteemed athletics teams and on-campus organizations! With their prime location in Boise, students are immersed in city life and are able to expand their internship experiences into the civic and private sector for businesses - perfect for building your resume!

BSU offers a ton of great opportunities to visit campus. They have the normal weekday and Saturday tours when you can meet with an Admissions Counselor and take a tour of campus and they have special Open Houses and Department Information Sessions throughout the school year. Something really cool that they are doing on Fridays in the summer is a Bike Tour of campus. You definitely have to register for it because it gets capped at 15 riders, but it is a really neat way to see the campus and tour downtown Boise! You can find out how to sign up for all of this on their website here.

NORTHWESTERN POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY
Northwestern Polytechnic University is located just north of San Jose, California and just east of San Francisco, California. NPU, its faculty, and its students are committed to scholastic success within the School of Engineering and the School of Business. Their curriculum emphasizes software development and understanding because of the campus' location in Silicon Valley and the expectations on students upon graduation. If creating software and understanding its impact on the business and technology world interests you, a stop at NPU can prove to be very beneficial!

NPU does not include information on how to visit the university, but it will be beneficial to contact the Admissions Office to establish a connection with them and potentially set up a meeting and a campus tour. All of their information is on the website here and can help you decide your next step before visiting on the NorthWest Road Trip!

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS
A huge school with huge programs in a larger-than-life city ... what more could you need from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas! Its 332-acre campus is home to many different academic programs and award winning athletics teams. The mascot a few years ago was even featured on the Hulu show Behind the Mask. Some of their unique academic programs include: Dance Production and Management, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Athletic Training, and Urban Studies. Not only are there plenty of opportunities for entertainment off campus, but the on campus activities and athletic events will make it easy to want to stay on campus and get involved!

Whether you are on this road trip or if you are travelling to Las Vegas with your family, you will want to stop and check out UNLV and all that it has to offer prospective students! You can register for a campus tour on their website here and you can even meet with a "Rebel Recruiter" (their term for Admissions Counselors) to talk about the application process!

The Northwestern corner of the United States has a ton of cultural opportunities both on their college campuses and within their popular cities. Take advantage of that on your college road trip and be sure to see not only the college campuses, but also the cities they live in!!


enjoy the chase,
skylar


Thursday, July 7, 2016

College Road Trip Series: THE MIDWEST

Happy Thursday everyone!!! I hope you all are enjoying the College Road Trip so far and getting to know a lot of great, different universities around the country. Today we are travelling through the Midwest, visiting many different sizes of schools in various locations and city-scapes. Keep reading to get a taste of the universities in the Midwest!!




LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO
Loyola University Chicago is one of the most highly recognized Catholic universities in the country for its academics! (Don't worry if you're not Catholic,it usually isn't an issue!) They offer so many academic programs like: Bioinformatics, Dance, Forensic Science, and Software Engineering. Not only are there tons of opportunities to get involved on campus and within your academic program, but its prime location in the city of Chicago make it a great destination for those craving a city life like no other!

The Lake Shore Campus (which is gorgeous, by the way) allows visitors each weekday to take a tour of campus. They also offer campus tours and information sessions on the weekends in the Fall. If you want to visit both the Lake Shore Campus and the Water Tower Campus, which the university suggests, they have a day schedule that allows students who would take classes on both campuses the opportunity to see both sides of Loyola. You can get more information about these tours on their website here.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
Funny Story: When I was in the 7th grade, all I wanted in the world was to be a Badger at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and study Meteorology and attend every hockey game! Truly that was what I wanted, but life happened and I changed my mind a couple thousand times, but the interest stuck and the college culture in my family let me examine every crazy college idea I had!  Anyways, I digress ....

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large, public, research university that admits about 50% of applicants and awards approximately 7.000 Bachelor's degree a year! They offer so many different programs that it would be hard to find someone who was interested in studying something UMW doesn't have. If you and your friends want a confident college experience filled with large lectures, tons of clubs to join, and an amazing network of alumni (33 of which have won the Pulitzer Prize), why not check out the University of Wisconsin-Madison on your Midwest Road Trip!

UMW offers information sessions and a walking tour every weekday for visitors. Something that is really interesting that they do is offer a seperate tour of all of the university housing options. So, you can do both tours in your day there, you will just need to register for both of those here. Now remember, it is a large campus, so be prepared to walk a lot on your tours, but focus and enjoy every second!

CARLETON COLLEGE
As a liberal arts college in Minnesota where 70% of its students study abroad, Carleton College is a great college visit destination for any prospective student looking to create their own college experience and get the most for their investment! Its country location allows students the chance to reconnect with the outdoors and embrace nature, while the hour-long drive to Minneapolis gives you that big city getaway when you need some more excitement! They also offer majors in Women's and Gender Studies, Environmental and Technology Studies, and Linguistics.

You will want to schedule your visit two weeks in advance to Carleton College, but your tour of campus could also include an interview, an overnight stay, or attending a class. Because of these opportunities, it may be wise to dedicate a whole day to Carleton before heading on to our next university in the road trip! You can find out more visit information here.

MINNEAPOLIS COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN
For the artists in your group or those who love the art world, a trip to the Minneapolis College of Art & Design should definitely be on your list for a college road trip! They offer a lot of the more expected art school majors, but a great initiative they have is a hiring program for students. So, they have a specific part of their website where businesses can request interns or artists to help their company with specific projects. How great is that? Attending a university that not only supports your professional growth but also does everything in their power to help you get experience .. that's a place where you want to get an education!!

In order to visit MCAD, you will need to e-mail or call their Admissions Office to set up an appointment. They also allow prospective students to tour the facilities without an admissions counselor or student tour guide, so if you are just stopping by, that may be a good opportunity for you to see what the campus has to offer, while still keeping on schedule for your road trip. Check out their visit website here.

IOWA LAKES COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Iowa Lakes Community College offers many different Associate's Degrees both on-campus and online. Some of their online programs include: Accounting Specialist, Human Services/Disability Studies, and Business Administration & Management. While the term 'community college' may suggest that their on-campus resources are limited, they actually offer many different offices to students at ILCC. They even offer on-campus housing for students who wish to live in the dormitories while achieving their two year degree!

A great thing about visiting Iowa Lakes is that all you do is complete an Individual Visit form on their website here and the great staff in the Admissions Office will plan a visit that is specific to your interests and needs! If there is something more specific that you want to know about college visits or about setting up a group tour, you can call the Office of Admissions to speak with an Admissions Counselor about it!

SOUTH DAKOTA SCHOOL OF MINES & TECHNOLOGY 
The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology offers great programs for those students who are wildly specific about the STEM major they wish to pursue. Students can study Meteorology, Geology, Mining Engineering, and several different Engineering programs here, while pursuing an active life on campus in clubs and organizations. To get even more career experience, Miners can start research while an undergraduate student and can then present that information at a Student Research Symposium!!

Personalized visits on the SDSM&T campus in Rapid City, South Dakota allows you to meet with an admissions officer while going over the admissions process, financial aid information, academic programs, and touring campus. They also offer large visit opportunities at Open Houses throughout the Fall where you can get more information here. If you or one of your friends is really interested in engineering or any of the STEM programs, you will want to make SDSM&T a mandatory stop on your college road trip!!

Is there any place I forgot or you think is worth visiting? Add it in the comments below or tweet me on Twitter for everyone to see!!

enjoy the chase,
skylar


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

College Road Trip Series: THE SOUTHEAST

Welcome Back to Day 2 of the Chasing College Road Trip Series! I hope you liked yesterday's post, but if you are more interested in travelling to the Southeast, then read on!! Again, I am not supporting these universities or saying these are the only ones you can visit. If there is another that has caught your eye, add that school into your campus visits!!




COLUMBUS STATE UNIVERSITY
Columbus State University is located in the western, central portion of Georgia and is right close to the border of Alabama! CSU offers a wide-variety of undergraduate programs including: Earth and Space Science, Information Technology, and Theatre Education. They also have several Computer Science degrees and were just awarded a grant to fund cyber-security research! If any of your road-trippers are interested in computer science or even focusing on cyber-security, you'll want this to be a definite stop on your college search!!

To visit CSU, you will have to register online here for a campus tour. They are offered with an Information Session most Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:30am, but you will want to check the calendar for the university's availability! If you visit before July 28th, you may even be able to see a Summer Class in session!!

CALHOUN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
As the largest community college in Alabama, Calhoun Community College boasts a diverse set of traditional and non-traditional students within a variety of Associate's Degrees and Certifications. They are located in the Northern part of Alabama and educate students who transfer to the University of Alabama and Auburn University -- if you or one of your friends is looking to gain some credits before transferring to a large research university, this may be a great stop for you all to visit!

Because of CCC's size, you will have to call the campus' Admissions Office to schedule a student or staff guided tour of campus. If you decide to take a student-led campus tour (which I suggest), I would still try to meet with an Admissions Representative to talk more about your needs and questions. You can find that contact information here.

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE 
If you love the color orange and what that large school (27, 00 students), sports arena (23 National Championships), Southern scene offers, then you should certainly visit the University of Tennessee's Knoxville campus! They boast 560 acres, containing over 230 buildings, 26 of which have been built or renovated in the past five years. In terms of their academics, they offer many options for students to study anything that interests them, including: Agricultural Leadership; Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights; and Forestry.

The University of Tennessee offers a pretty comprehensive visit opportunity in their Campus Visit Program. You start with an Information Session, then go on a campus tour led by a current student. From there, you can request additional appointments with other administrators and faculty. You can find out more details and register for a visit here.

COKER COLLEGE
Because I believe in liberal arts colleges, I will share one for each road trip!! Coker College is just that, a small, liberal arts college in Hartsville South Carolina. It is located in a small town in the middle of two big cities (Columbia, SC and Florence, SC), but still has great opportunity! They have an average class size of 12, which allows you to get to know your professors and create a lasting connection with your fellow students. If you or any of your friends are interested in playing a sport in college, Coker is a Division II college that offers Golf, Wrestling, and Track and Field, among the 'normal' sports teams.

Coker offers visit opportunities Monday-Friday at 10:00am and 2:00pm which consist of a meeting with an Admissions Counselor, a student-led tour, and then the option to attend a class, or meet with a coach! Something cool that they do for the summer is a Sunset Tour on Tuesday evenings where you tour the campus at dusk. Be sure to spend some time downtown touring as well; they are in the process of introducing new boutiques and restaurants into the area!

SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN
This private art university has campuses all around the world, but the Savannah campus provides Southern culture, amazing architecture, and a downtown center that will help jumpstart any student's creativity. The Savannah College of Art & Design offers programs in Accessory Design, Cinema Studies, Historic Preservation, and Sequential Art (among others), while students pursue a social life which includes clubs like Colleges Against Cancer and the Philosophy Club.

The Savannah College of Art & Design conducts campus tours daily Monday-Saturday at 9:30am and 2:00pm. To register for a tour of the Savannah location, you can visit their website here. Their location in Atlanta also offers campus tours, if that better fits your college road trip, and you can find that here! You may want to spend a few days in Savannah just so that you can get a true grasp of the city's creative culture!

FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
The Florida Institute of Technology is located in Melbourne, Florida and was originally founded to provide advanced education to those working at Kennedy Space Center! (Perfect for those Aerospace Lovers in your group!) Their academic programs emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, however they also have a research field at the local airport for graduate students who study Aviation. If you are also interested in expanding your reach outside of the research world, the university takes advantage of many opportunities for civic and on-campus leadership engagement.

If you plan on visiting Orlando or Daytona Beach this summer, be sure to take a trip to visit Florida Tech's campus. They provide campus tours almost every day where you can also speak with professors or take tours of the laboratories. They also offer an Exploration Day event on July 22nd where you can take a tour of campus, but also attend information sessions on the admissions and financial aid processes, and attend meetings with the different academic departments. You can sign up for either of these on their website here.

Be sure to add chasingcollege.blogspot.com into your Favorites so that you can check in each day this week for the rest of the Chasing College Road Trip Series!!

enjoy the chase,
skylar



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

College Road Trip Series: THE NORTHEAST

Hi everyone and Welcome to the first day of the Chasing College Road Trip Series! This week my blog posts will take us on a chase and journey throughout the country to look at some great colleges and universities! I chose the specific universities that I did because of their uniqueness and because of their appeal to a wide variety of majors and programs, or because they were really specific.



If you plan on travelling with a bunch of your friends, I wanted to include schools that would fit everyone's needs, both the wildly specific and the super low-key! Today's road trip takes us through the Northeast region of the United States. As I am a native to the northeast and pretty familiar with colleges and universities in this area, I wanted to share those with you first. Please Note: in no way am I endorsing these institutions as the only options for a college visit to the Northeast. If there are specific types of universities you want to visit and need some advice, comment below or send me an e-mail! You can visit these from top-to-bottom or from bottom-to-top depending on where you live and how you want your trip to look. Let's get started!!!

Google Maps

HARTWICK COLLEGE
Hartwick College is located in the upper Catskill Mountains of New York State and they offer a comprehensive liberal arts education in a variety of academic programs offered to undergraduate students. Their small class sizes and unique academic opportunities like, J-Term and beginning internships early, will excite even the most unexcitable in your road trip group! Their location in Oneonta, NY is great for those students seeking a college town with activities going on downtown and on campus!

Hartwick Colleges offers many opportunities to visit campus this summer with Visit Days offered each Friday in July and on Friday, August 5th where you can take a tour of campus, attend an information session, as well as, eat in the Dining Hall! If a Friday visit doesn't work for your visit, you can try a weekday too with opportunities to take a tour of campus Monday-Friday! You can learn more about their visit days at their website here.

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
Syracuse University is also located in Central New York and offers both undergraduate and graduate programs across 14 schools within the university. Not only do they offer the 'normal' majors, but they also offer these interesting academic programs: Aerospace Engineering. Creative Leadership, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, and Supply Chain Management. SU is sure to meet everyone on the road trip's needs, while still offering something for the artists and the athletes!

Syracuse University's Admissions Office offers tours and information sessions Monday-Friday, several times throughout the day. They also have three planned Preview Days for this summer: July 29th, August 5th, and August 12th where you can take a tour of campus and attend information sessions. For more information, you can check out more about Syracuse's visit opportunities and how to schedule your appointment at their website here.

UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
The University of Vermont is located in Birlington, VT, directly across Lake Champlain from New York State. UVM is a large, public research university which attracts students from across the country and the world to the #1 Ranked College Town in America. It offers 100+ majors in the health sciences, engineering, and arts and sciences fields, as well as, many others. If you or your friends are looking for that big lecture hall and college town environment, UVM would be a great place to check out and take a tour of!

The University of Vermont provides Information Sessions and tours to prospective students most weekdays and Saturdays during the summer. They also offer major-specific information sessions to students who want to learn more about their intended program. You can make a reservation and learn about the dates for Information Sessions on their website here. The campus is huge, so you'll want to bring your walking shoes!!

SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE
Another great small, liberal arts college to visit on your tour of the Northeast is Springfield College in Springfield, MA. If you're looking for a small community where you can contribute academically and as a campus leader, you won't want to miss Springfield. They have many campus traditions and offer many different academic programs including: Athletic Training (one of my friends from HS graduated from this program and loved every minute of her time at SC), Emergency Medical Services Management, and Pre-Physician Assistant.

Springfield College offers campus tours three times a day during the week and on some Saturdays as well. They also present Information Sessions at 11:00am on weekdays to visitors regarding the admissions and financial aid process, student life experience, and their academic programs. You can learn more about scheduling a visit and you can view their Events Calendar on their website here.

WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
If you have a science lover in your car for this road trip, a great place to stop for them is Worcestor Polytechnic Institute. WPI is located in Worcester, MA and is a university that focuses on the science, technology, mathematics and engineering field. They do offer other majors in the arts and sciences, however they are highly recognized and regarded as a leader in STEM research. If you're looking to be a student-athlete, WPI offers various athletics teams that boast many past All-American and Scholar Athletes!

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers a two-hour visit opportunity at 9:00am, 11:00am, and 1:00pm, depending on availability, where they do an Information Session and a campus tour. The Admissions Office has a really nifty calendar here where you can see what time slots are available for which days to help better plan your campus visit. You do need to register in order to take part in the Information Sessions and campus tour. All of their visit opportunities are listed on their website here.

MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN
For the artsy members of your social circle, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design will definitely be an interest to them to visit. MassArt is located in Boston, MA and is close to many of the other universities that call Beantown home. They offer majors in Art History, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, and Sculpture. Here you will earn a B.F.A. (Bachelor's of Fine Arts) and be able to take part in the many exhibits and lecture series offered by renowned artists and alums!

Massachusetts College of Art & Design offers campus tours most weekdays at 12:00PM. If you're really interested in going to an Art School, it could prove beneficial to set up an appointment with an Admissions Counselor to talk about admissions and also to do an informal portfolio review. They can help provide pointers on strengthening your application for admission. You can find the calendar for campus tours here and then you can find all other information for visiting campus and scheduling a visit here.

Again everyone, these are my suggestions to make your road trip well-rounded and inclusive of anyone's interests. If there is another university you want to substitute another for, by all means go right ahead. Just make sure that your road trip is filled with fun and exciting moments of chasing college!!

enjoy the chase,
skylar

P.S. Be sure to tag me or the Chasing College blog on social media of all of your college road trip fun!


Friday, July 1, 2016

Friday Favorites

Hi everyone! I am currently wrapping up a little vacation and I wanted to share with you all some of the things that I have currently been loving and think are superbly going to make your life better  ... even if it's superficial! :) Here are my Friday Favorites:

I just discovered Day Designer, a planner/datebook company that makes really great and high-quality products. What's great is you can also try before you buy by printing a few of their free downloadables like a daily page, a fitness and food planing page, and even a brain dump page for writing down all of your great ideas as they come to you!!

I was procrastinating the other night and I came across this Buzzfeed article on tiny apartment inspiration. I am so obsessed with all of these cute organizational ideas that I wouldn't mind living in 500 sq. ft.just so I could test them out! This can be really helpful when you are thinking of organizing your first apartment or even your next dorm room!

If you can't get behind any of the DIY organizational tips among all of the Buzzfeeds and Pinterests of the world, I highly suggest finding a Kirkland's store near you or ordering online. They have some of the cutest d├ęcor items that can be used in your dorm room. Think: throw pillows, monograms, adorable picture frames, and artwork for your walls. Plus it will fit any college gal or dude's budget!



Are you and your friends planning a college visit road trip this summer? Well, next week begins the College Road Trip Series here at Chasing College, so you will want to check out the blog on Tuesday for the first installment!! I can't wait for you all to check out the colleges that I've included!

So this one isn't necessarily a "Friday Favorite," but it is something that I wanted to share with you all. On your social media accounts, make sure you are following people and accounts that inspire you and help you through your chase. Whether they are bloggers, friends, family members, celebrities, or random people with the same interests. (I'm not saying that you should follow and talk with creepy people who you've never met) As millennials, we spend a lot of time on social media, especially Instagram, so fill up your feeds with inspiring images rather than small-town gossip and drama! Just a word of  advice! :)

I hope you all have a great 4th of July Weekend and celebrate it with your families and friends being safe! I will see you all next week for the COLLEGE ROAD TRIP SERIES!!!!

enjoy the chase,
skylar