Start college search to maximize options

Posted: 12:01am on June 16, 2012

Dear Emily,

I’m a senior now and it’s coming to crunch time for me to start looking at colleges and decide where I want to go. What are some things that I should think about when picking the school?

Dear Senior,

It’s good that you are college searching as summer has hit us all. Picking college is a big step in your life, so be sure to take time and really think through your options. Start off by looking at the colleges that interest you most. Look around online and even go for a visit if your able. Then start looking at colleges that have crossed your mind but you never really considered. Having your options is important. But once it becomes crunch time to actually pick, consider some of these things; the environment, the majors and minors, what you want to be when you’re out of college, and how far away you’re willing to be away from your hometown. Those are just a few of the many things to think about when picking. Drilling yourself as well your peers and adults with questions is a good idea as well. Before making your final decision, a visit would be the best idea as well as talking to numerous counselors at that college. Just be sure to put a lot of thought into your final pick, because the final choice will help you guide your path.

Dear Emily,

I am overweight, and the boys at my school say rude remarks to me about my body. It makes me feel worse then I already do. How can I change this and change my body?

Dear Beautiful,

First off, know you’re beautiful. But if you’re feeling uncomfortable and want to make a change, try to turn those feelings around and use the comments as motivation in your changing process. Embrace your body, as it is at the moment, but work to change it until you are comfortable with it. If you aren’t comfortable with your body, there are many things you can do to change that, start off by looking at your diet. Eliminate the junk and replace with fruits and vegetables and lots of water. If you aren’t involved with sports already, start off with going on walks and find an exercise you enjoy doing. Take action and find something to help you change your body and to make you active. Ultimately its about how you feel, and being comfortable in the body that you were given.

Dear Emily,

I am a high school student who has never connected himself with a group for a length of time. I have no best friends or even good friends. I come home after school, tennis, football, track, etc., and am all by myself. I am both an outcast and an insider but I am also very athletic, smart, generous, modest and polite. I am stuck in the middle of the road. What am I doing wrong? How can I get into a group that will both respect me and have fun?

Dear Outcast,

I promise you that there are times that everyone feels like an outcast. There are moments where you just feel alone and that things couldn’t get worst, but stuff like that comes and goes in cycles. You could be having a really bad day, and if one small thing happens, it could change into a wonderful day. The thing is, you sometimes have to make those small things happen. Do things that make you happy and embrace those things. You may not be doing anything wrong, but there are things that you could change possibly. Take a look at how you are at practices, school, etc. Are you opening and welcoming to your teammates and classmates? Being welcoming is letting people in, and can lead to friendships. There are plenty of people out there who will respect you and have fun with you at the same time, so one day after practice ask them to hang out with you that coming weekend, then text them to set plans. That is a practical and nice way to get yourself involved in groups and to feel out if you like hanging out with them or not. You should try to be open minded with everyone. Sometimes taking initiative in making plans first is a good idea.

Emily Chertow is a high school student in central Pennsylvania who writes a monthly column offering advice from the point of view of a teenager. You can send questions to her at or mail them to Ask Emily, c/o Centre Daily Times, 3400 E. College Ave., State College, PA 16801.