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10 Questions for High Schoolers to Ask College Students
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10 Questions for High Schoolers to Ask College Students 

July 13, 2017 

Who better to ask about college than a college student? Here's some questions to get you started. 

 

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got as a high schooler looking at colleges was to talk to college students as often as possible. They are an invaluable source for information, after all, they are experiencing what you’re going to in just a few short years (or maybe months).

 

I challenge you to do the same.

 

Here’s a list of questions to pose to college students, and how their answers can help you.

 

1. What do you love about your school?

 Everyone enjoys college for different reasons, and, depending on who you ask, you’ll probably get some cool insight to some of the more unique elements of the school. Just getting students talking about their experiences will allow you to glean some general college information.

 

2. How often do you come home?

Keep in mind where the student you’re talking to is from with this one. Coming home once in a while because laundry is cheaper at mom’s house is one thing, but watch out for multiple students telling you they come home every weekend. Is there a reason? Is it hard to be social on campus or are there never events on the weekend? You don’t want to get stuck on a campus that is basically a ghost town Friday to Sunday.

 

3. Where do you study on campus?

Not only will you learn if the library (a default study place for many students) is more of an academic or social place, but you might also discover some tucked away nooks and crannies that are a quiet place to focus. For me, I found a little alcove built into the side of our bookstore that I was able to hop up into with my backpack; I loved it because I could enjoy the weather when it was nice and it was far enough away from a lot of other buildings to be a quieter place. This question might also prompt students to just talk about academic spaces and buildings on campus, and this is such a vital part to college, so it’s good to get the scoop.

 

4. Are you a part of a club on campus?

You will probably get the details on a cool club on campus possibly worth joining, but you might also be able to gauge student involvement. Did the student get really excited to talk about his or her club? How many members did they say it had? Clubs can also cover a huge variety of activities and topics and causes on campus, so you’ll be sure to find others with your interests. Getting involved on campus is sometimes super important to your social life, so if that part of campus isn’t thriving then it could be harder to find friends and people with similar interests and hobbies.

 

5.    How often do you talk to your professors?

One-on-one interaction is necessary for some students. Getting lost in a crowded lecture hall where your prof may only know you as a name on a page rather than by your actual face may not work for you. Your relationship with your professors will be some of the most important ones during your college years, so it’s a wise idea to gather some knowledge on how teachers usually interact with their students.

6.    Have you used the career center or writing center?

 These services are usually free on campus, and seeing students take advantage of them often is usually a pretty good sign that they are worth the time. These places can transform your resume from average to attention-grabbing and your essays from wordy and unclear to brilliant. If they are not being utilized by students, ask why. Is it because they’re not well-advertised and students aren’t aware of their presence? Or because students know to avoid them because they don’t produce high quality work?

 

7.    Has your school helped you find an internship or work in your field?

Experience is such an important part of landing a job nowadays. Hopefully your school is just as invested as you about getting that experience. Ask if there are resources to help you gain some of those needed opportunities while you’re still in college. This could come in the form of a career center, or professors who have connections, or partners of the college in the community.

 

8.    How’s the wi-fi?

Trust me on this one. For some dorms, it’s amazingly reliable, for others it’s not. You don’t want to lose connection right before your huge group project deadline, so if you need to grab a cheap ethernet cord for emergencies, it’s nice to have a heads up.

 

9.    What’s the student body like?

Is there diversity? How does everyone interact? The student body will be your future classmates, co-workers, roommates, resident assistants, or teammates. It’s good to get a feel for how people connect with each other. Is there a balance of majors? Being one of a few token art students on a campus dominated by STEM majors might not be what you’re looking for. How college students talk about their fellow students can be really telling of the type of people you would be surrounded by on campus.

 

10.What do you hate about your school?

Though you don’t want to put too much stock in the answer to this seemingly negative question, it is healthy to have a somewhat balanced perspective. You won’t be able to make a good decision if all you know are the good things. There will be pros and cons to college, and knowing what some of those cons are could help you be mentally prepared for whatever the problem might be. You might also find the student saying something like “I hate this thing about my school, but the administration is working on fixing it.” Or “this is a personal preference of mine, and many students don’t find a problem with it. It’s not so terrible to deal with.”

 

Pay attention to how students are framing their answers to these questions, because many times you can find out a lot by reading between the lines. Admission counselors and administration will give you all the technical answers and point out the most wonderful things about a college, but students will be able to give you a glimpse of the reality of a day-to-day life at college. 


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