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OK stop DoTs!

Hey pals, how are you?  I am well.  Finals are approaching, that’s good-ish.

I’ve been house-hunting with my friends Nick and Amy.  We plan to live in Portland over the summer and live off campus next year (they’re graduating, so I guess they don’t really have a choice).  That, school projects, and work are basically all I do right now.  The last few weeks of the year are always really busy for events because all the clubs and organizations who procrastinated on their event planning try to have one more big event before the semester ends.  The sound techs have lots of work coming up.

Campus has been pretty sunny lately.  I recommend you come for a prospective student tour soon if you’re planning to.  The closer to finals, the less every-day-life the place becomes.  Regardless, even if you do end up touring during finals or the Summer, it’ll still be worth it to come look.

I’m sure we’ve been inundating you with literature and phone calls and who-knows-what about how sweet LC is, so I’ll spare that here and offer this: here are some tips I have for you guys as you decide where to go to college (whether it’s at LC or elsewhere):

1.  Tour the campus.  You’ll get the spiel about how great the place is, but even better, you’ll still be able to assess for yourself if it’s the kind of place you’d want to spend 4 years.  Take things you hear on a tour with a small grain of salt.  I know nothing you hear on the L&C tour will be a lie, but I also know that some things are different than they’re portrayed.

2.  If you know which area of studies you’re interested in, attend a class in that discipline during a campus visit.  If you don’t know, attend one of the larger 101 classes so you can get a feel for what a “normal” lecture is like at that school.  Furthermore, if you do know what you want to study, it can be helpful to contact a professor or two from that department and ask any questions you may have about studies in that particular field.

3.  Do not break college policy during a campus visit.  Just don’t, please.  If you’re caught, it will at least lead to an embarrassing conversation and at most can get you trespassed, un-admitted, and/or arrested.

4.  Contact random students on Facebook or via e-mail.  While I’d like to think (and I do think) that anyone you contact, college-selected or otherwise, will tell you the truth about the campus, it was very useful during my college search to circumvent the usual channels for contacting “real” students at the school and just just did a Facebook search for students at L&C.  You’ll get varied responses, and some people will be more willing to help you than others, but it’s a good way to get unfiltered information about life on campus.

5. Negotiate financial aid.  This is not to say that you should play hardball with your aid, but rather that if money is the thing stopping you from enrolling at your first choice, contact their Financial Aid department, explain the situation, and ask for an appeal.  Some places are more willing than others to talk, but it never hurts to ask. I know L&C’s Student Financial Services department has been willing to hear out my family during times that my Financial Aid package wasn’t meeting our needs.  I would assume that most colleges of similar size and type to L&C would be similar.  Most people don’t know that a financial aid package is not always automatically final.

6. READ THE STUDENT HANDBOOK.  You can almost always find the college’s handbook by searching its website.  Sometimes it’s a bit hard to track down, but it’s definitely worth looking at.  Luckily, L&C’s is right out in the open. Regardless what you hear about life on a campus, it’s good to know what the school’s rules *actually* are.  You don’t need to become extremely familiar with all aspects of the college’s policies, but I highly recommend at least reading the Drug and Alcohol Policy (even if you are entirely substance-free, this policy will likely affect you directly or indirectly in some way while you’re at college).  Some other policies that may be of interest: Parental Notification Policy, Search and Seizure Policy, Smoking Policy, Technology Policy (aka “what does the college do when they get a Cease and Desist from the MPAA because you’re a media pirate” policy), Skateboarding Policy, Parking policy.  While there certainly are policies that exist but are not as enforced as others (I am not referring to our Drug & Alcohol policy, by the way), it is good to know the rules by which you’re agreeing to abide upon enrolling.

7. (once you’ve selected a school) Be HONEST on your housing/roommate application (and turn it in quickly!).  I can’t speak for all schools, but I know that at L&C, the only people who see that sheet are the staff in the Student Life department who are responsible for pairing up roommates (usually the RDs do this).  If you smoke, say so.  If you’re messy, say so.  If you like to stay up until three AM, say so.  If you intend to “party,” say so.  Furthermore, if you have an aversion (even a politically incorrect aversion) to interacting with a certain type of person, it can be beneficial for you to volunteer that information on your roommate selection sheet (and note that you are volunteering it solely for the purpose of housing selection).  At L&C, That information stays private and will not be used against you in any way.  The more the Residence staff know about your habits and personality, the better fit they can find for you.

Hope that post helps.

now playing in my ears: “Attack On Tir Asleen” by Kane Hodder

16 April 2009