Saturday, July 29, 2017

College Tours: A Big Fat NO, and a Hopeful Yes

This week I took my oldest baby to tour St. Cloud State, and the University of Minnesota. Our first stop was St. Cloud State. The directions they gave us easily led us to the parking lot. The admissions building was right there. I get lost in my own backyard sometimes, so I was thinking this is a big win! Noah was not so impressed, as you can see in his photo.

We walked into the admissions office and there were five other freshmen to be. They all looked like they should be freshmen in high school. First we listened to the "selling points". The guy giving the speech was 26-years-old. He mentioned "I had so much fun. I met so many people, (insert laugh). It was a lot of fun." 15 times. Yes I counted. I started counting after the third time he said it. He said he was a psychology major, and also got his masters and had jobs waiting for him before he graduated. All I could think was, if you had a job waiting for you, why are you doing a work study job a college kid should be doing? He did say it was affordable at $8,000 per year, and the average class size is 18- big pluses in my mind. He also said a guy he knew had a 2.1 GPA (C average) and ACT score of 16 and got a $750 scholarship. I'm thinking "WOW! Noah can probably go for free, because he has a 4.0 and a way better ACT score." Noah's thinking, "This college is full of dummies." The guy couldn't tell us much about the meal plan or dorms because he lived off campus. He did tell us, "I knew guys who lived in the dorms and we'd get a whole bunch of us and hang out in the dorm and it was a riot" Once again I'm wondering why is this guy the sales person? He ended his speech with "That was only 20 minutes. I wish I had an hour to talk to you guys." I looked at my watch. He did talk for an hour. Apparently they don't teach elapsed time, or time estimate at St. Cloud.
The next part was the walking tour. The person giving the walking tour was one of five international students. I could not understand a word she was saying, which is saying a lot because I work with english language learners. I kept wondering, why would they have one of the five students on campus who can't speak english give the tour? The campus is pretty condensed, so not a lot of walking in the bitter cold for Noah, which I liked. It took the twelfth time of her calling the dorms the "rensvolds" before I realized it was the "residence halls". The dorms were tiny; tinier than the average dorm. I really didn't get much out of the tour because I couldn't understand her. I wondered if the college thinks she was a good tour guide, if they'd have a lot of  professors that are hard to understand. We actually left the tour early because we had to get on the road to U of M. I asked Noah what he thought, and he said, "It's a slacker/party school." - Not ideal for pre-med.

Next stop, University of Minnesota. The GPS led us right to the parking ramp, where the entrance was under construction. Noah has great navigation skills, so he got us in the ramp. Somehow Noah knew where to walk to find the admissions office. I read a sign that said, "U of M is spread out among 68 blocks." I'm fairly certain we walked 64 of the 68 blocks to find the admissions office. Right away I was much more impressed. It was a lot more professional, and the kids looked age appropriate. We were led to the room with the slide-show selling the campus. While we waited it showed fast facts about U of M. Did you know where post-its were invented? U of M. How about the retractable seat belt? U of M. Fluoride toothpaste, the Black Box, and the Nicotine patch we all invented at... University of Minnesota! Right away during the selling speech, I know this is the place for my baby. It would not be the place for me, since it is very large, I get lost, and I'm more of an introvert; but it fits Noah perfectly. It's very competitive. You need a 27 ACT score, and be ranked in the top 95% in your class to get accepted. The tour guide was wonderful. I could understand her. She had a friend from Moorhead, so she asked Noah about being a "Spud". There is a bus system, underground tunnel, and metro system to take them everywhere they need to go. It's like a little city within the city. There will be a lot for him to do. He'll get a good education. It seems to be the perfect fit. Now I only have one more year with my baby living at home. I'm going to watch him while he sleeps and cherish each moment until next August. Then I'm planning on laying down and throw a tantrum on the day he moves into the dorms...