When colleges like questions as much as they like answers

When college applications and interviewers ask you why you want to attend their particular school, don’t forget to tell them what you don’t know (and are hoping to find out).

Learning and self-discovery are important parts of college.  So it’s normal—and actually admirable—to point out what you don’t know and are hoping to learn, like:

  • What would my life be like if I left my small town and moved to a big city?
  • Would I really enjoy studying physics every day?
  • Could I become a good enough writer to contribute to the school newspaper?
  • Do I really love math as much as my older brother at MIT does?
  • What am I going to be able to accomplish that my parents couldn't now that I’m the first one in our family who will go to college?
  • What subjects will I love that I haven’t even found yet?
  • What will it be like if I have a roommate who grew up very differently than I did?
  • Am I a liberal just because my parents are liberal, or will I learn enough in college to be more confident about what my own personal politics are?
  • Will I love being a premed?
  • Where will I get to go on a road trip with friends?
  • What will I get to do in New York City that I’ve never done before growing up in Iowa?
  • What will I get to do in Iowa that I’ve never done before growing up in New York City?

 If you already knew everything, there’d be no reason to go to college.  So don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re answering, “Why do you want to come to school here?