How To Choose A College
by Chad Lowry


Of all history’s blunders, perhaps the biggest was Robert E. Lee’s decision to surrender at the Appomattox Court House. The place he chooses to give up is the same place he can be arrested, tried and convicted all at once? What a dummy! No wonder the South lost the war.

Then again, maybe it wasn’t entirely his fault. Maybe his aide-de-camp was helping him scout for a location to surrender and pointed at the courthouse, which didn’t have a sign. “How about that place over there?” says the aide-de-camp.

“What is it, a saloon or something?” Lee asks. “We could get a drink afterward.”

“Yeah, sure, maybe. I don’t know.”

“OK, sounds good by me. Let’s see what Grant’s got on his schedule for the ninth.”

Which brings us to today’s topic: Choosing the right university. After all, one of the biggest mistakes a young person can make (other than volunteering to rub grandma’s corns) is attending the wrong college. With college application deadlines looming, I’m here to give you some little-known advice on how to guarantee the most from your collegiate experience.

For starters, try the cafeteria. And I don’t mean just the food, although you should check to see with what frequency they offer pudding. You also need to find out how easy it is to sneak in. Most colleges these days give their students debit cards to use at the campus dining halls, and let’s face it, you aren’t smart enough to budget the money you’ll have. Remember, in a food fight, he with the most baked potatoes wins.

Here’s another great tip: don’t attend a school that has a weak sports program. Because if the football team is at home and they upset a ranked team, the celebratory crowd could bring down the goalposts, and if they fall on your back, man, you’re really gonna feel that one in the morning. These are the kinds of things you need to pay attention to.

Be open to leaving home to attend the school that’s right for you, but don’t go anyplace that has snow. If you grew up in a place with snow, you’ve been there, hated that. If you grew up somewhere without snow, but you’ve seen it on TV, with the people shivering and slipping, and bundled up like a musk ox, well what do you think you’re missing, really? Join the ski club if it’s that important to you.

Also, stay away from schools that are way out in the country. Let’s face it, if cows are near the campus, you’re going to have to drive a long way to get to the nearest airport for spring break, and that just unnecessarily cuts into your party time. And have you ever smelled a cow up close? It’s not the same as a steak grilling, although that does give me an idea for a new perfume. Dang, how great would it be to walk up to some super-hot girl, and then she smelled like a medium-rare Delmonico to boot?! That would be awesome.

Speaking of advanced chemistry, you should choose a school that has as few majors as possible. No one ever ends up graduating with the major they start with, so the fewer other majors there are to choose from, the less chance you’ll have of studying something really obtuse like Cellular Genetics. Trust me, it’s got nothing to do with the family tree of mobile phones, just like they don’t let you drive trains in Engineering.

Finally, remember that college isn’t all about parties and beer. It’s a serious endeavor where a young person matures, develops important life skills, and learns what responsibility is all about. So be sure to find a nearby hardware store and buy a good, reliable wheelbarrow in case one of your friends needs to push you home from a bar. And be sure that bar has a sign on it that you can read before entering.


© 2005 Chad Lowry, All Rights Reserved
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