I remember the 1st college trip I took with my mom. I was not interested in the school at all, but it was not far from home and a perfect place to test the waters and practice my interviewing skills. I remember riding in the car in silence unhappy that my mom was making me go on this college tour and interview. I walked into the admissions office and the admissions counselor introduced herself, “Hi Moira, my name is Maura”. Forty minutes later, on the car ride home I couldn’t stop telling my mom how much I enjoyed the interview and how even though I was not going to apply to this school, I really thought the interview went well and I actually liked the school. Fast forward, I ended up attending Fairfield University, the 1st school I interviewed at and the school I kept thinking about as I visited each and every other school throughout the college search process.
Planning a college visit has not really changed much in the sense that students have their lists of targeted schools they developed with the help and guidance of their college advisors and parents. However, the stress of the college process has changed and students and parents are feeling the pressure. I know when my son started the process two years ago I could sense his trepidation and frustration. I, on the other hand, tried to think of ways in which we could have fun and actually enjoy our time together on the road talking, not arguing, and definitely not in silence.
I approached the college visits like I did any family holiday I organized. I love food and I love to travel. And whenever our family travels, I make sure I research the best places to eat, stay and explore. I decided to challenge my son Mark, to help me find the best burgers or sweets in every college town we visited. I prepped the itineraries in advance and then on our drives Mark would help me narrow down the list of places he wanted to go. Do you feel like Mexican or Italian today? Are you in a mood for ice cream or a donut? After the tours Mark would linger and ask the tour guide or admissions counselor what their favorite places were around campus. Suddenly, he was engaged and interested in meeting other students and asking them about life on campus and in the dining halls. Mark still talks about the stuffed burger near Union College and we both agreed everyone should try a fried Oreo at some point in their lives. We enjoyed our adventures and all the people we met sharing their inside scoops.
My daughter and I continued the trend during her college search process and as a result, College Scoops was born. We have compiled all of our notes and more than 240 students and parents have contributed their inside scoops on the best places on and around campus. Our goal at College Scoops is to help relieve some stress and allow parents and students to create lasting memories, as they get ready for their next adventure.
Check out College Scoops for the local hot spots and enjoy the sights and bites!
Moira has a BA from Fairfield University and an MBA from Columbia Business School with two children in college and one more on the way.