An arial shot of the University of Washington campus highlights the blooming cherry blossoms.

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College visits: not just for seniors

May 8, 2017

The seniors have been through the college process as they prepare to go into college in the fall, but hey juniors: it’s our turn. It’s time for us to look into where we will go after our last year at Northgate is over with the criteria varying by major, accreditation, and affordability of a school. Every student has varying tastes. Just to our luck, there are a diverse range of schools to choose from.

Over Thanksgiving Break in 2016, I visited the University of Washington in Seattle for one of my first college tours. The moment I stepped onto campus I knew I loved the atmosphere since the campus is in an urban setting yet not submerged into Downtown Seattle. There are a lot of trees and serene open spaces on the campus and somehow the air smelled crisper to me. Not to mention the Quad is home to a famed formation of cherry blossom trees that when in full bloom during the springtime are gorgeous and fragrant.

The campus is expansive, yet gave me the feeling of being at a smaller school, separate from Seattle. In fact, the University of Washington is larger than Disneyland in Anaheim, California at 703 acres and 85 acres respectively. Even though the student population of the school is 45,870 people, it does not have a large school vibe. I think that is so because of its layout, beautiful architecture, scenic landscape, communal gathering places, and sense of community spirit.

What I discovered from this visit, is that I am excited about the possibility of attending a large school in a cosmopolitan city, different from where I grew up. I crave a different experience and environment for my college years. One of the key aspects for determining the right school for you is being able to find the best fit and environment for your educational success and overall happiness. One school does not fit all!

I also discovered as I read The UW Daily, their student run newspaper, that it is a window into what the student body is actively engaged in on a day-to-day basis. Having this and other journalistic forms of media available is a valuable resource and can help many juniors and seniors get better insight of schools that may be right for them.

As most seniors have decided on their schools, it’s time that juniors start to get out there and visit schools they might like to attend. It may be a stressful time with the agonizing standardized tests and immense stress of college essays, but we will get through it. With this I wish you happy college hunting!

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