The College Search Process, by Weber Long

Hey all, I wanted to write another article in light of my recent commitment to Wake Forest University. I’ll be writing about how my college search process went, and some tips that I’d give to anybody who’s starting to search or is already looking.

To start off, I’ll explain how I did my college search, why I chose Wake, and what I would do differently if given the chance. When I first started, I really had no clue what I was doing, I didn’t know what an NCAA ID number was, had no clue about anything I was doing. I started this process during my junior year, but it didn’t really pick up until the summer going into my senior year. So, me and my parents signed up for this site called NCSA. I was told to spend about 20 minutes on the site like 3 times a week to help get recruited. In the end? None of my top 5 schools reached out to me, nor did I contact any of them through NCSA. So, I wouldn’t personally recommend paying any site to help yourself get recruited, but that’s just me.

So, after I got to my top five, I started really thinking about what I liked about these five schools, and which ones I wanted to cut off of my list. For this, I looked at a few things. One, I looked at the school itself, whether I’d get my wanted degree, whether the team was what I wanted, etc. That narrowed it down to the top three. After this, I started looking at taking visits, and which coaches and teams I liked best. After a visit to Wake Forest and a visit to UNC, I decided that I wanted to go to Wake. I meshed with the team almost immediately, and when I had a race in Raleigh the weekend after my visit, some of Wake’s guys were racing the day before I did, on the same course too. So, naturally, I went to watch them compete, and while some raced, the rest of the guys were running around cheering them on. When they ran around, I went with them, and it already felt like I was part of their team. Then there are the coaches at Wake, who I really liked too. I felt like I meshed well with them too, and that we’d get along well for the next four years. (Quick disclaimer: none of this is meant to target any of the other schools I talked to, UNC, or any other school. They all have great teams and great coaching staff, Wake just felt like the right one to me). 

Of course, there’s a lot more to it than just that- months of calling coaches, constant contact, thinking over things, and the hardest part for me: telling schools I wasn’t interested anymore. It’s all fun and games when you have this huge list of potential schools, but when it gets narrowed down and you have to tell coaches that you’re not interested anymore, that’s when it hits you that you’re not going there for sure. And I always felt a little bad saying no, but I didn’t feel guilty about it for that long. It is a good thing to do though, since you don’t want to have a huge list of schools to pick from. It’s a lot easier from just 2-3. 

I also put out a story on instagram for people to send me questions to answer for this, so I’ll do that now that I have the main process out of the way.

Factors about why I chose Wake Forest? I liked the atmosphere of the school, the campus was a nice size, the team was fun to be around, the school has everything I want in a college. (Plus, the team is pretty quick).

These two are the most common questions I got, so I won’t answer them more than once. 

To end this article, I’ll leave you with one tip for finding the right college: Don’t limit yourself when choosing a school.

Until next time!