Ask An Expert: Tips On Starting The College Search

Ask An Expert: Tips On Starting The College Search
Jill Linkoff is a Life Coach based in Baltimore who specializes in teenagers and families who are being affected by ADHD. As a Life Coach who works with teens who sometimes struggle with grades and classwork due to their challenges in maintaining attention, Jill has extensive experience in assisting these students with identifying Higher Learning institutions that meet their particular needs. These are some recommendations that Jill has for people beginning their college search.
Jill Linkoff (Courtesy of Jill Linkoff)

Jill Linkoff (Courtesy of Jill Linkoff)

Jill Linkoff
OMG ADHD
8201 Symphony Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21208
(443) 831-0086
www.omgadhd.com

As a Certified Strategic Life Coach Specializing in ADHD (credentialed in Life Coaching and ADHD Coaching) in Baltimore, Maryland, Jill’s passion is to make a positive difference in the lives of adolescents (16 and up), adults and families affected by ADHD. She partners with clients to find strategies to manage symptoms of ADHD at home, in college or at work. She utilizes a combination of coaching and support to provide her clients with tools, strategies and encouragement necessary to carry on.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

There Are Choices Out There For Everyone – Research!

“There is a college out there for everyone. It’s an exhilarating, nerve-wracking and important time looking ahead and trying to find the best fit for one’s education journey. Start with you! Exploring your learning style and what environment will optimize your learning is critical. As you start searching, meet with a college advisor, attend college fairs, set up a few visits to colleges to “get a feel” for the campus and observe the types of students who attend. Create a spreadsheet with all of the colleges you’re interested in. A few questions to ponder: What are the most important things you’re looking for in a school? What aspects are non-negotiable and what features are optional? What will the impact of cost have on your choices? What schools are safe, match and reach schools?”

Intended Major/Field Of Interest

“While it’s important to look for schools that offer the programs that you are most interested in, remember, many students start college as undeclared majors and many change their major several times within the first two years. The college journey is about discovering your interests and future goals. Look for schools that offer various majors you may want to pursue. If you haven’t decided on a major yet, ask what the ‘undeclared’ student experience is like. If career success is something you’re thinking about, consider talking with the career center at the university to learn about similar occupations and internships that others like you have taken.”

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It’s Not Just About The Academics

“Once you’ve identified campuses that offer your desired programs, explore how the college’s extracurricular activities align with your values and interests. Can you visualize yourself getting involved, not only academically, but also socially, a place where you see yourself developing meaningful friendships and lifelong connections?”

RelatedBest College Hangout Spots

Don’t Snub Our Community Colleges

“High school graduates and families who are not able to afford the high cost of private and public four-year college tuition are increasingly turning to two-year colleges as the most pragmatic and affordable choice. When unemployed workers can’t find work, they often turn to community and technical colleges. Community colleges provide invaluable post-secondary educational opportunities for those who have a plan for an academic transfer to a four-year college degree, want to pursue career and technical training or to gain skills to achieve a better position in the workforce.”

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Are You Really Ready? Who Cares What People Think!

“What if you don’t think you, your child or your student is ready for college, either academically or emotionally? There are a number of programs and certifications that can be a good next step for some students, providing a “gap year,” a transitional year, or a certificate program. College acceptance can be deferred for one year and colleges are very supportive of gap years. Discuss these possibilities with your child or student to see if they may be the right “next step” for him or her. While many parents may consider it “risky” to put off college, the greater danger may come from attending college too soon. I’ve worked with many students and graduates who ended up bouncing from major to major, repeating years of college and then moving from job to job, unable to find happiness or direction in life.”

RelatedBest Books To Read Before Heading Off To College

Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.