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College Counseling with Natalie

By Natalie Daniels

As I enter my senior year in college, I look back on the last three years. I notice how much these years have changed me. While I am more aware of what I want, I’m still unsure of what the future holds.

Along the way, I’ve made mistakes that helped me learn new things about myself. Sometimes, I wish I would’ve known those lessons sooner. That’s why I’m writing to you. Although your experience could end up different than mine, most of us want two things: success and happiness.

Here are ways, from my experience, to enjoy and flourish in college.

The FIRST step is to start thinking about what you may want in your school.

As you go through high school, start brainstorming subjects and activities in the back of your mind that you like to do. Is there a subject you enjoy? Do you love the stage or screen? Are you an activist? It could be anything! Start framing these in the mindset of a potential major.


As you approach your sophomore or junior year of high school, start researching schools in subjects or locations that contain your interest. Do you love the city? Do you like the country? A little bit in between? Do you want to be around a lot of people? Or would you rather have classes with a smaller amount of people? Want to travel across the country? Or be far away from home?

You may have no idea of what you want yet, and that is totally okay! I suggest starting researching schools near you or in your state to gain more of an understanding of what different colleges offer.

The THIRD step is to physically visit those colleges.

As you approach your junior year or summer of senior year, make sure to visit schools that are of interest to you. Your whole idea of the college may change based on one visit. You may fall in love with it or you may decide that it isn’t the college for you. I recommend visiting before you apply, so you have more perspective on the school. You waste less time applying to a school that you may realize later that you don’t like.

Sometimes it’s not easy to physically visit a college which is totally understandable. At those times, I recommend attending college fairs which will give a brief overview of a university you have interest in. You could also just take a look at the school online. Multiple college websites or Youtube channels provide virtual tours of their campus so you have more of an idea of what the school looks like.

Overall, brainstorming possible interests and areas prove as the first step for a smooth college search when you eventually arrive at that point.

I want to point that although it’s smart to be prepared regarding your future, don’t spend your high school career stressed about college. That’s why your adulthood is for thinking about your future. Enjoy the present moment of your youth!

Natalie Daniels is an editorial intern for Dreamlette. She is a journalism major at Emerson College with a love of storytelling. Her favorite topics include entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, social issues, and music.

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