Dreams and Grants
My first college visit was to Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. First off, I’d like to say that New Orleans is a beautiful city filled with culture, creativity and excitement. Tulane is located in Uptown New Orleans and is a beautiful, modern campus.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve been on too many college visits to count. Last week was my first visit wearing my “parent hat.” Let’s just say that I need to follow some of the advice that I’ve been giving parents.
First–be on time. Our visit was at 9:30 a.m. and I really miscalculated the travel time. We arrived at 10:30 as the information session was ending. Luckily, we were able to slip in and join up for the walking tour. And, luckily my son was understanding and didn’t get stressed out by my poor planning.
From my college visit at Tulane I learned that it is important to be on time to your college visit. Unfortunately due to a misconception about the trolley system in New Orleans we arrived late for the visit. I was unable to choose a tour guide that corresponded with my major interest. We ended up with a STEM focused tour guide who showed us dorms and laboratories specifically suited for STEM majors. But, that was OK. It didn’t really stop the college visit from being productive.
Second–eat before the tour and take snacks. It was a hot day and we had 1 ½ hours of walking. I should have put a couple of bottles of water in our bag. And, we should have had breakfast before heading out (what was I thinking!). Luckily I did find one granola bar in my bag for Malcolm. And, a note – the vending machines you see around campus will require exact change or a campus identification card.
I was one of the youngest people on the college tour. Most of the people were juniors and seniors in High School and one had already been accepted to the school. However, I feel that beginning to find college earlier can definitely be more beneficial.
Third, it is OK if your child wants to walk alone. I read Malcolm’s body language and hung back separate from him. I could tell he wanted to be on his own. I had a couple of questions for the guide and, luckily, I shared these with Malcolm at the break. One we asked the guide during the break. The other Malcolm wasn’t comfortable with me asking so I decided to ask it in a follow-up email.
In conclusion, I can say that I had a very productive first college tour. Tulane is definitely on my list of colleges to visit and I would like to go back for another visit.
I’m Malcolm. I’m a 15-year-old sophomore in high school. I recently began visiting colleges and college is something that I look forward to greatly. I am participating in this blog and sharing my journey as I visit and apply to colleges to help other people aid teenagers in their search for college success.
I live in Berea, Kentucky. I am a biracial African American/Caucasian teenager. In rural Kentucky, we have very little people of color, and a very large amount of poverty. This mixture creates an unsafe city for schoolchildren, and many children from 6th-12th grades are involved in underage drinking, smoking, or drug use. One of the biggest problems in Kentucky is that of Methamphetamine, and Prescription Drugs. As you know, where there are drugs, there are problems. Fights, Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Theft, and many other things endanger the bright young ones of our city.
I believe that the only things that saved me from the same fate as some of my peers were my parents. My mother, Dreama, is from rural Kentucky, and grew up with her parents. She saw many in her community lost to prescription drugs and meth, and made sure to protect me from that. My father, Hasan Davis, grew up completely differently than my mother. He was born in Missouri, and moved to Atlanta, Georgia after his parents were divorced. He lived with his Mother, Stepfather, two sisters, and a brother. At times they were homeless, such as after their house burned down on Christmas. He lost friends and family to violence, drugs, and crime. He vowed to make my life better than his, and has protected me from this.
I believe that we can make the rural areas safer for children, and families. In Kentucky, the High School Graduation Rate for all students was 87% and the rate for African Americans was 80%. Regardless of race, simply not enough students are graduating high school and going to college. This is my Inspiration, to change this, and allow more students to see their potential, and see their futures.