“A place where I can…”

Ask many students what they’re looking for in a college, or many applicants why they’ve decided to apply to a particular school, and they’ll recite a list of features and benefits. A strong journalism program, small classes, located in a city, etc. But those expressions miss the importance of connecting your college wish list with your plans to make the most of those opportunities.

So here’s a subtle change that can make you think critically about what you’re looking for and how you plan to take advantage of it: Start those descriptions with, “A place where I can…”

A place where I can take my first steps towards a career as a journalist…

A place where I can interact with my professors easily and regularly…

A place where I can experience living in a city rather than just visiting one…

What you do in college will be more important than where you do it. But that will mean finding schools that pair the right opportunities with your willingness and ability to take advantage of them. Instead of focusing on just what the college will offer, focus on what you’ll do to make the most of those offerings. “A place where I can” is a good place to start.