by Guibel Marino

Going to college campuses with South Bronx United members was a great experience. The first day we went to St. John’s University located in Queens. All South Bronx United players experienced a tour around the campus and the soccer fields. We had the opportunity to meet the coaches of the soccer team. We spoke about the academic and athletic requirements to be able to play soccer in college. It seemed cool how there are many opportunities offered for soccer players like us. As we walked we got to see and explore each building and the environment as well. As time passed we got the chance to ask questions to the coaches, not only about soccer but also about the whole campus.

In addition, we met the admissions counselor of the college. He is one of the people who reads students applications, and decides who gets accepted. Something we all found really important and interesting was the amount of money we had to pay for each class and dorms (if you are going to live in the campus).  There are many requirements to get accepted to colleges like St. John’s University such as: SAT scores, High School report cards, application essays, extracurricular activities, and athletic skills if necessary. The most important thing to do is have great scores at High School to be accepted to the college you really would like to attend. For example for St. John’s you need 900 SAT score on the math and reading sections. I think visiting St. John’s University was a great way to spend time exploring and getting information about the school.

The second college visit with South Bronx United was awesome, too. We went to Brooklyn College which is part of the CUNY system; it had thirteen different buildings located at Midwood-Flatbush. Once we got there we got to meet the Brooklyn College soccer coaches, and had the opportunity to talk to them about the campus. According to the coaches Brooklyn College only had a men’s soccer team (this sounded awesome for the SBU boys). They also said that they were in the process  of creating  a women’s soccer team starting this autumn of 2012.  One interesting topic was all the opportunities they offered for students. Brooklyn college has a D3 soccer team, which doesn’t offer scholarships. St. John’s had a D1 soccer team which offers athletic scholarships. D1 schools offer about 10 full scholarships. In any school if you don’t get an athletic scholarship you can still get the academic scholarships and financial aids.

Just like in St. John’s University we met the admissions counselor of Brooklyn College. He stated that there are many scholarships offered for so many students, but each student that wants a scholarship has to look for it individually. Every scholarship has a different process. Every student has to do well at High School. Meaning that if someone wants to enter college with a scholarship in their hands, they need to work really hard academically. We also talked about the different majors and career opportunities. One example used was if you want to be a doctor, you will have to take biology classes, and after you graduate you will need to go to medical school. Last, our tour at Brooklyn College was great. The campus had some new buildings that had opened a few years ago; this tour also helped many of SBU players see a college from their own point of view.

In my opinion, I think that attending  college visits  helps a lot not only to start thinking about college, but also about ones future. A student needs the opportunity to make a decision on which major they are most interested in. We all have to learn how to manage our own time while looking for the right college that fits best for us. Choosing a college can be easy, but hard at the same time because you need to think whether you are going to a CUNY or SUNY College, or a private school in New York or out of state. Starting to make good choices in High School can really have a value and help in the future. Once you get accepted to your top college choice, it would be the time to worry about money to afford each class, and worry about dorms if necessary.

Thanks SBU for offering all of us the opportunity to visit a college, and letting us have so many opportunities academically and athletically.