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We all have heard it from friends or family members before “before you know it, they will be graduating and out of the house.” Well…yup I am there now. I have almost 17-year-old twins (Brady and Gracie). While they are Juniors in High school, we are already college shopping, test taking and talking about what their future may look like for them. 

It is exciting and scary for both them and mom and dad. This past month we visited a few colleges in TN and oh, how I just LOVE TN (more on that in another blog lol). There are a few things I learned in our first college visit.

1. The minute they (the student) steps on campus at any given school they will get a vibe (it’s kinda like meeting someone for the first time). The will either “feel it” or not and they need to go with that gut instinct. In our case our daughter had an idea in her head since she was around the age of 12 that she wanted to go to a certain school. We visited it and she didn’t fee it. The 2nd school that was not even on her list she LOVED! It is like with anything trust your GUT and go with it!

2. All the marketing that the school sends you and tries to woo you with is nothing like the visit. Keep in mind they want you to see the best of the best. The crème de la crem. You need to get in there and get to that school to check int out in person. How far are the FRESHMAN Dorms (I am serious here as one campus the Freshman dorms were all the way across campus (like a 15 minute walk), what is the food like, what are the dorms like…you get the idea as you need to see the REAL picture (not just the dating app photo)

3. Ask REAL students what it is I like at the school. Get the one on one so they are no influenced by other students, counselors or teachers. You want the real deal, the skinny or the “DL.” 

4. Come prepared with a list of questions to ask (again I will post about what to ask in another blog). So important. Sometimes in their initial meet and greet they answer most of the questions and others not so much. Just be prepared.

So as our family continues to be on the college tour circuit we continue to learn new things about life after high school for our kids as well as what to do and what not to do while college shopping. All of this while I am holding back my tears and wondering what my husband and I will do when we are instant empty nesters!