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So, do you have enough pockets?

I mean, really! It seems like every piece of clothing I own has either insufficient pockets or no pockets at all. I am constantly asking my husband to hold my phone and keys when I don't want to be saddled with a purse.

Why can’t we have more pockets?

But not everyone is craving these pockets. My son was about to give away a very nice, hooded zip sweatshirt. I grabbed it up and claimed it for my own. The first time I wore it, I was stunned. The pockets in this thing were so deep! I could keep my phone, keys, and a small child in one of them. WOW!

Then, I discovered hidden pockets. There were inside deep pockets and even a chest pocket, especially for a cell phone. I was in heaven. It’s the little things, right?

But this got me thinking about college fit. As I navigate this application season with my students, I am always quizzing them about their choices. Do you think you’d like this city? Are you happy with how large this college is compared to the other ones you are considering? And on and on.

Really, what I am asking them is “Does this school have enough pockets?”

Here is what I mean.

We all have these necessary pockets we need filled to feel comfortable, happy, and armed to deal with the events of the day. For me, I need some quiet pockets, some intellectually stimulating ones, and time with my family and friends. What are yours?

For most students I have worked with, we focus on colleges that fill these pockets. Does the college have a friendly environment? Do they have your major or something you are interested in potentially studying? How about proximity to home?

Then, there are the hidden pockets. Those things you didn’t even know that you might need in a college – air conditioning in your residence hall, access to housing, affordability. How can you find these hidden pockets of needs when you assess your college choice? They take time to discover.

What about the extras? The “chest pockets” of the college search? Some colleges have amazing dining facilities that serve all sorts of culinary delights – even vegan options. Other schools have lazy rivers on campus for students to relax and enjoy. These amenities are superfluous to the college experience for sure, but who doesn’t want a movie theater on campus? I do!

We may never get as many pockets filled as we need in this life. But I hope for all of my students that their college choice fills enough of them to feel safe, secure, and loved.

“You have to create little pockets of joy in your life to take care of yourself.”

Jonathan Van Ness


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