BS has shaped it in ways we could have anticipated, like the aversion to a rural, isolated campus, but it’s also provided an incredible framework for the university search that none of us expected.
D is also a tour guide at BS, so this has helped her formulate some very good questions on her own tours and info sessions - really specific questions about student and faculty diversity, peer support for minorities, staff/faculty support for student issues, etc. The way she phrases these questions is very intentional and she’s good at analyzing the responses; some answers have sent her searching for the backstory online. And those scripted, memorized responses often DO have a backstory!
Today, as we near the end of the college search, she has a very specific university future anticipated - one that is probably not in the US, is in a larger town or small city, has high international diversity, guarantees freshman housing (but not further), includes options for roommates, is at least 5000 undergraduates, and has student support services available for those who seek them (a given in the US, not so much overseas). She is more interested in big cities than we ever expected, and more ready to live independently (rented flat, cook for herself) than we would have asked of her.
Most interestingly, she is not impressed by the handholding she hears about in the US college info sessions. She is ready to take on the world, and she doesn’t approve of the parental involvement expected by most of the US schools.
She has engaged with her college search to an incredible degree, evaluating well over 100 schools through info sessions, virtural and live tours, ask-a-student events, emails, website reviews, social media searches, and more. She understands the nuances of university applications in 5 countries, and has drafted different types of essays for the different systems. In other words, she’s done her homework, and it certainly has been akin to a whole extra class (fortunately a summer class for her).
It’s a very different college search than we could have anticipated - and it’s been SO much fun to see her get excited about different programs and opportunities. Her college experience will be quite different from her parents and we’re very happy for her!