Applying to college is a whole lot like applying for a job as a student. In the working world, you may send a hundred queries in order to be chosen for one interview. College admission is a lot easier than that. On the other hand, currently we have too many people trying to cram into some very narrow doors. Do you have what a selective college needs right now? There is no way of knowing unless they are knocking at your door. A rational plan needs to be in place.
My approach to college advising is to consider that you are applying for a job as a student. Career search techniques can be helpful, and you will learn to use them. If you want to go to medical school, do you understand the best way to match yourself to an appropriate school for premed? If you have no idea what you want to do in life, that’s absolutely fine. But do you understand your personal strengths that could lead in a certain direction? How are you going to recognize the right environment when you have never been to college? In America, we have every approach to education possible, from tiny one-to-one settings all the way to wrenching your education out of enormous lecture halls. Both of these ways to learn can work fine to help you arrive at a destination.
My program is broken into two phases: in the second semester of junior year, we work to develop a viable list of schools. For many students that is all that is needed, and filling out forms does not require any kind of special assistance. Your school can provide you with everything you need. For students with more complex situations, special talents, and incredibly good or incredibly bad records, staying with me for the second phase may be what you want to do. What an exciting time of life—you live in a country that opens doors in all directions. The only hard part of this for me is that I have to limit my work load, so coming in to see me after sophomore year ends is a good time to have an informational interview.