Sophomore girls enjoy the Elon campus on a sunny day. Photo: India Behl

Over the President’s Day weekend many Pace sophomores and juniors traveled to North and South Carolina to get a first-hand look at several colleges. They toured a variety of schools ranging from the well known, like Clemson University, Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to smaller schools such as Elon University, Furman University and High Point University. The trip, organized by the Pace college counseling office, gave students a chance to walk around the campuses, eat in the dining halls and purchase various souvenirs in the book stores.

Most sophomores were looking to begin their college process and wanted to get a feel for different-sized campuses, the numbers of students at each school and a sense of what college is like. Prior to the trip sophomore Emily Caton said, “I am really eager to find out what type of school I would belong at. I can’t wait to explore some of the top colleges in the country like Duke.” The juniors are a bit further along in the process and some already had an idea of where they would like to apply.

“We tend to do these colleges every year mostly because you can really get a good idea of different types of colleges,” said Director of College Counseling Jonathan Ferrell. “Obviously the colleges that the students know about such as Duke and Chapel Hill stick with them, but they are often surprised by the ones they were not aware of, for example Elon and High Point.” For the students who would rather remain in the East, some of these colleges were just the perfect fit.

This trip was the first time for many of the students viewing a college outside of Georgia. A lot of the kids fell in love with Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “As soon as we stepped on the Wake Forest campus I adored it,” said sophomore Meryll Asher. “The buildings were very pretty and the academic program seems achievable. The social life is very lively and everyone comes out to attend the sporting events, which is cool.” Other students had conversations with some of the Wake Forest students and enjoyed the friendliness around the campus.

Another favorite was Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. They admired the medieval look of the campus and its buildings. “The best for me was Duke for sure, because it is pretty much the whole package of college,” said sophomore Austin Kelly. “They value academics and sports equally, two very important aspects in my life. I could see myself here in a couple of years.” Others showed their spirit by purchasing sweaters, hats and other items to express their love for Duke.

Some of the sophomores and juniors liked Elon University. “I for sure thought Elon was pretty cool because of how much it reminded me of Pace, a smaller, get-to-know-everyone type of school,” said junior Brogan Smith. After touring a variety of different schools, the students can’t wait to visit more colleges around the country.