College: indeed a loaded subject for many unschoolers. Today our challenge was to navigate the Western Colorado State College campus as prospective students. A scavenger-hunt-esque challenge, minus the points and competition, plus real world skills. Some of the items on our list were to talk to an admissions officer about the requirements of applying as a homeschool student, gracefully crash a lecture or class, speak with a department chair about the realities of the majors we were interested in, and talk with a professor about their past work.
I found it incredibly helpful talking to professors from the actual departments I was interested in, Film Studies and Environmental Studies, rather than just taking the generic school tour. If/when I retour the colleges I’m currently applying for, I will make sure to speak with specific departments, it’s a lot less nerve racking than I would have imagined. Of course, this is a matter of opinion, but they really are just there to help.
I even had the chance to sit in on an Audio Recording and Editing class. The realities of that class did not let me down, they were showing what they had worked on that week: documentary radio pieces. It reminded me of the independent project I had worked on the week before, a multi-media project collecting stories of the High Desert Center, and inspired me to spend more time working on audio I record in the future.
At our debrief at the Welcome Center our group agreed that, although this was a useful skill set to have ready when talking with colleges we were actually interested in, it was a bit odd touring a college as if we were very eager students without being interested in Western Colorado State at all. I suppose an unexpected part of this challenge was pretending to be a different person for the day. I could imagine this challenge being quite interesting for someone who is completely uninterested in attending college. I’m glad for the experience and look forward to trying to apply what I have learned later this year on colleges I look into independently.