College Cross Country

Upcoming graduates travel across the nation in search for the perfect school


Photo courtesy of Madaline Vojslavek

Students travel across different campuses to find the perfect to call home next fall. Over the summer, students bounced from state to state to find their future school.

Bailey Christensen, Staff Reporter

Days flew over our heads and out the window. We learned to walk, to read and eventually do calculus, but the main objective we have been aiming for all this time is to be able to prosper on our own, to become an adult. Eventually, there is the walk down the row with fellow classmates in the same green robe, cap and tassel. As all the lights are centered around each student, those stressed sleepless nights, the fanatic football games and walking down the Millard West hallways will seem to fade as each students’ new story, with their new life, continues on.

However, preparing for graduation and college does not come without hard work. Finding a school perfect for each individual is a hard choice to make. Over the summer, many students visited the 5,300 different colleges offered in the United States stretching from coast to coast.

“Over the summer I screened two regions for college: the Rockies and the Midwest,” senior Peter Buglewicz said. “In the Rockies, I visited Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Boulder and Wyoming University. While in the Midwest I saw Purdue, Marquette and Case Western Reserve. With the help of a private college counselor, we assembled a list based on my criteria and I visited all of those colleges.”

Assistance can be found through counselors and online resources, making students able to find what colleges fit perfectly with themselves. Through the simple process of signing up for a free visitation and tour, students are able to walk among any campus of their choosing for the day, almost as to pretend they are attending the school.

“My grandma is an alumni from Oklahoma State University, so she encouraged me to check out the campus while I was visiting in Oklahoma,” senior Madaline Vojslavek said. “This was one of the three colleges I visited that clicked. I could see myself there walking across campus and wearing orange and black.”

When approaching colleges, a lot must be considered: cost, size, financial aid, location and student to faculty ratio. This influenced which colleges seem to be a hotspot for student viewing.

“Of all the campuses my favorite two were Case Western Reserve’s and that of Colorado School of Mines, a school that I visited earlier in the year,” Buglewicz said. “I appreciated the close proximity of the relevant buildings as well as all there was to do in the surrounding area. Another important factor in a college is cold, hard cash. If the school didn’t offer academic money reserved for scholarships I wasn’t interested.”

Madaline Vojslavek
Colorado State University lecture halls give students a view of mountains off in the background. “The campus is overall beautiful,” senior Madaline Vojslavek said. “I love being able to see the mountains right outside of the classroom, its different compared to Omaha.”

Students do not have to travel out of state to find their perfect fit. Local colleges in Nebraska have seem to strike interest in most students within the state. 

“I visited University of Nebraska-Omaha’s campus over the summer,” senior Meghan Bohn said. “The campus is close enough to home, yet you can find a lot to do within the area. The campus really intrigued me mostly because of their Pre-Med program and most of my friends want to attend UNO as well. For my visit I got in a shuttle that drove around Maverick Landing and Mammal Hall. There we viewed castle like building for each different section of study. Even though I’d still be in Omaha, this will be the first time I experience a campus life such as this without having to travel more than 30 minutes from home.”

Other students find comfort in finding a home away from home, but with family close in distance.

“I am really leaning towards out of state college and I think I’ll manage to adapt,” Vojslavek said. “I loved how close knit every student at OSU seemed to be. They all showed unbelievable school pride and were not afraid to wave it in front of the high schoolers. I know I’ll miss my family, but I am excited to go off on my own and live for myself.”

Most of these colleges love to advertise their school and the numerous opportunities they can provide for their students and staff, drawing future students in towards the specialties of their own campus.

“With the given choice of UNO having hundreds of clubs, I’m invested in finding which ones I belong in,” Bohn said. “Students approached us and talked about the craziest types of clubs such as camping or even a group of students who meet every week to go to Costco and eat all the free samples. It really shows you how any type of person has the opportunity to get involved and find something they are interested in it.”

Not every student has always had their picture perfect college in mind. As a kid most dream big. Experiencing the actual college took a different turn on childhood visions.

“I have always thought I was going to become a teacher as a child and that I would go to Washington University in St. Louis because my father went there,” Vojslavek said. “Since then I have realized how expensive college truly is so I have changed my mind on that university, but I still see myself as becoming an educator. I’ve checked out more reasonable school of interest.”

Based on the campus experience, meeting professors and students, touring dorms and lecture halls, the realization of the difference between a university and high school became apparent. 

“I expect college to be as stereotypical as the movies display it in that there’s a greater degree of freedom and personal responsibility,” Buglewicz said. “I don’t sweat though, I’m more anxious by the fact that a chapter of my life is closing.”

With college creeping around the corner, students spend their last year as their last hurrah, spending it with the people they care about most.

“I haven’t really thought far yet into the future,” Vojslavek said. “I’m just happy I have a little less than a year to spend with all of my family and friends. I’ll start to prepare more when college seems like a reality. I still can’t believe I’m a senior.”

Getting a head start on college visits over the summer has released mass amounts of stress as applications are opened up. Finding the perfect college, whether based on location, expense, special programs, or even class size is essential for the success of the upcoming graduates of 2020.