MBHS College Trips Leave Something to be Desired

MBHS College Trips Leave Something to be Desired

Tea Udden, Staff Reporter

BROOKLYN, N.Y.-  Millennium Brooklyn High School has taken multiple trips to different colleges in and surrounding New York City. The college counselors pick schools for sophomores, juniors, and seniors to visit at different times during the year. These trips are mandatory, as students who don’t participate get marked absent. Not all students choose to go on the trips, however. Li Dong, a senior in Mr. Blair’s advisory, chose not to accompany her fellow advisees. Her reasoning was simple. She knew that her advisory was going to Five Towns College, which is an art school, and she wasn’t interested in the arts. Instead, she chose to spend that day working on her college applications.

Many students have opinions on these college visits. Liv Thurston, a senior at MBHS who recently visited Concordia University with her advisory, said “It sucks for the colleges when they are presenting to a bunch of students who don’t want to go there… at Concordia, at the end of their information session they put a presentation together for us, and they asked us if anyone was interested [in applying] and no one raised their hand, which is not fair to them because they’re wasting their time just as much as we are.”

Erin Wentz teaches AP Literature and AP Language at MBHS. She also has a junior advisory. Wentz has a different outlook to the trips than most students do. According to her, “I feel like the college visits that we do in highschool are really more just about exposure and about kind of starting to think about what you like, and what you don’t like in colleges.” If a student visits a college and ends up hating it, that’s okay! Now they can evaluate what factors they didn’t like. Was it too rural? Did the food taste gross? These are all things that they can now look for in future college visits.

Wentz gives another good point, saying “I also think it’s really nice as an advisory to have [these trips]. We have so few opportunities to do things outside of the school together as a group, and I think it can be a really lovely time to reflect and to be together.”

By the time students are juniors and seniors, they’ve had a chance to bond and get to know their advisory. Even though students may not get much out of the actual college tour, it should be a nice (and a much needed) break from regular classes that they get to spend with people who’s they won’t get to see for much longer.

Students can’t expect to get the perfect college experience on a school trip, that’s just unrealistic. They can’t rely on their advisors or the college counselors to do all their college work for them, there’s a lot the student has to do on their own time, one being scheduling trips to colleges they are interested in. Ms. Wentz agrees, stating “I think the most effective college visit is going to be one that you go on with a parent or guardian to a school that you have an active interest in, because when you go on those kinds of college visits you are envisioning yourself as a student there, you’re seeing if it feels right, you’re picturing your life at the school, and I feel that’s an essential part of figuring out where you want to go.”

Not only are college visits important for students to make a decision, it’s important to schools when they are looking over applications. “Among the Top 50 colleges, Brown and UC Irvine care the most about college visits. They rank it 4/4.”, according to Huff Post. Colleges see that you have taken one of their tours, and it tells them that you are interested in their school and took the time to envision yourself on campus. So if a student isn’t getting the most out of their advisory trips, they should make sure to schedule an independent college tour, which can be done under the Admissions tab on most college websites.