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May 18, 2010

The College for You

This Extra Ink was written by Betsy C.

As the school year wraps up, you may find yourself thinking about what lies ahead. Many of you are already planning for college, while others might still be trying to figure out if it's the right path for you, or how to afford it. Summer is a great opportunity to take stock of your future--and to start figuring out your college plans.

You're free from your unrelenting schedule of classes and homework for a few months, so you might want to consider visiting some campuses. Most colleges have already let out for the summer by now (lucky jerks!) but you can still get a great feel for what it might be like to live in, say, Massachusetts instead of Montana. It's great to check out a few schools before the fall arrives and you're dealing with applications, not to mention another round of homework and classes.

Confused about which schools to visit? Teen Ink Magazine and TeenInk.com are great resources. You can check out our College Guide or read college reviews by real teens like you. There are plenty of Extra Ink articles in our archive that deal with the college application process, too! Beyond Teen Ink, you can look to books like the Fiske Guide or websites like CollegeBoard.com.

Best of all, meet with your school's guidance counselor. Even if you're not ready to apply quite yet, she or he will have some great advice about narrowing down our college search. You can also ask older siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, and even your parents (!) about their experiences at college and advice they might have.

Finding the right college can feel scary and daunting, but you're not alone in your worries. Teen Ink's nonfiction and college essay sections are filled with writing by kids who've struggled with finding the right college and eventually found their way. We just hope you'll write us your story, too.

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