As a junior in his second semester, I'm starting to go all out on the college search again. When I was younger I'd been looking a little bit so I know about a lot of the colleges that are out there, but I thought I'd see if I could get a little more direction before I go browsing through 100+ colleges to see if they have what I'd love.
Anyway, I'm not too worried about stats, I'm technically a URM and am confident I have a decent chance (not shoe-in, obviously, but possible) at wherever I apply.
So, I live in California, and would love to get out of here. I'm not saying that staying in California would be absolutely impossible, but if given the choice between a college out here and one out East, I'd be much more likely to accept the one in the East. I'm definitely not looking for a rural college, and would prefer one within 1-2 hours of a major city (Chicago, New York, Boston, etc.). Something bigger than 1500 people would be nice, although it's not absolutely necessary. I just can't imagine spending another 4 years in an environment just like my high school, even if it's not exactly the same.
But here's where I kind of get stuck. I can find all of the above easily in a college book, but I'm not sure what to do from there. I'm taking spring break to go visit some colleges out east (HYP, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Amherst, Swarthmore, Brandeis, and a couple others). It's mostly to get an idea of the difference between big and small, pure urban and somewhat suburban.
Problem is, I have two ideas for what I want to study in college, and they're radically different. The first idea is what I consider the "practical" one, and it involves biotech, nanotech, genetics, or some other type of science-y/engineering major. I haven't really considered civil or biomed, as I see myself more as innovating, but basically, science. The other would be the "ideal" one, with a focus in international relations, specifically in either business or politics. Learning about cultures, learning different languages, and being able to apply that to interations with other corporations/countries.
I've also being doing theater since freshman year, and I'll have a dozen or some plays under my belt by the time I go off to college (if not more). I know it's not as much as a professional actor, but I'd love to go somewhere that had a strong theatre undercurrent. I'm not so sure about actually taking classes in it (although it wouldn't be unheard of), but lots of theatre groups would make me happy.
So from there, I don't really know where to look. I'd love to take any suggestions, and if anyone needs any more information I can answer. Even if you all don't know specific colleges, hints on how to go about looking to tell if a college has a strong department in any of those subjects would be helpful, as I'm not really sure.
EDIT: That got kinda long, but one last question! What do you do with a Bachelor's in IR? Government work, sure, but anything else?