I’m in Southern California, home to many professional sports teams that you might know well: the Dodgers, the Rams, the UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, for starters. But I could not forget the Los Angeles Kiss of the Arena Football League, a team that folded last season . The Kiss made me think about a different way for college visitors to consider campus visits.
The football Kiss were named for the band that started in the early 1970s in New York. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, co-founders of Kiss, were also co-owners of the Arena Football team. Simmons, the group’s bassist and vocalist, has repeatedly referred to himself as a “powerful and attractive man.” Depending on your preferences in music, Kiss is either “just another (great) band” or repulsive; there’s almost no neutral description. The band performs in dark make-up, considered “goth” with some and refer to themselves much like comic book characters. Simmons, for instance, is known as “The Demon.”
What does a rock band from “my era” have to do with a direction to help you think about campus visits?
When you take campus visits there may be some powerful attractions.
They might be the equipment in an engineering lab; the 100,000-seat football stadium; the sight of people tossing Frisbees on the green mall on a sunny day, or a dining hall that looks like it belongs at Hogwarts. Write this things down under “What Attracts Me.” I have seen all of these things at least once when I have taken campus visits.
You might also see things on campus visits that repulse you, such as:
Schools that border on rougher neighborhoods will have their share of things that detract. So do schools that require travel on roads through rough neighborhoods or never-ending road construction. Write each and every one of these items, and more under “What Repulses Me.”
Ideally, the schools that you like the most will have far more features that attract you than features that repulse you. Then consider the repulsive features that you can live with as well as those that you absolutely cannot. Just don’t blast a Kiss album loud as you do it.
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