College Counseling For Connecticut Students: The “Why” College Dialogue

By College Counseling

For the last couple decades, I’ve led SAT classes in our Madison and Old Saybrook, Connecticut offices.  I start the class with an unusual question: “why are you here?” Students are initially perplexed.  No one asks them such questions.  Some mumble because my parents made me.  Others answer compliantly: to improve my SAT scores.

I then continue: “why the SAT?”  That’s an easier question.  College admission.

I then ask: “why are you going to college?”  These smart students from Madison, Guilford, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Essex and other Shoreline towns usually have blank faces.  Eventually, jobs-career-money become the answers.

I then shift the discussion with a Magical Genie.

What if a Magical Genie could make you skip college and immediately enter your career with all the credentials/training/knowledge that you would have acquired in college?  For purposes of this hypothetical, we remove financial considerations regarding paying for college.

Would you skip college?

“Yes!” Students initially answer, thinking that no more school work seems brilliant.

Then, the wiser students start to answer.  Some are wiser simply because they have older siblings and understand that the college experience is extraordinary.

We start reviewing the incredible possibilities that college offers:

I always start with people:

People to meet.

Interesting people

People who will become friends

People you might marry.

We then move on to location, new activities, classes that are actually interesting and so forth.

We finally move to the transition to adulthood.  Now the students are rapt with attention.

They realize that college is a momentous turning point in their lives.

Covid has dampened the enthusiasm for so many things, including college since visits have been mostly precluded and since Zoom U was a generally terrible experience.

Light at the end of the tunnel….

Let’s hope the excitement of college returns!