Isaac may be new to New Orleans, but between online summer coursework and an early move-in at Tulane University, he is well on his way! Read on for Isaac’s recommendations for a successful transition to college and his reasons for choosing Tulane.
How did you spend this summer?
“Once my camp was canceled for the summer, I knew I needed something else to do. This was the best summer to take some classes and get ahead, especially since I want to do a double minor and take classes in a fourth subject. I decided to take Microeconomics and Psychology online through Tulane this summer. My Econ class meet three times per week, and my Psych class met once per week. Taking these classes ahead of time allowed me to feel more confident and helped me to figure out a bunch of good study skills. I also worked with a Success Coach throughout my summer courses, and I’ll meet with them again to help plan for the fall semester.”
In light of COVID this fall, what will the structure at Tulane look like?
“I’m really grateful that I’m able to do a lot this semester. All of my classes are in-person. Tulane built a bunch of temporary classrooms that are really large, have air conditioning, and can seat 60-80 students with social distancing. They’ve also moved smaller classes to bigger rooms to accommodate social distancing, and they’re utilizing different spaces like the art museum, admission halls, and the basketball stadium, where they haven’t done that in the past. The University made it their goal in early April to have in-person classes and to have roommates, and they really invested and were able to deliver. They’ve also built a new dining pavilion and [put different restrictions in place] like having the gym be appointment only.”
Why did you choose Tulane?
“I felt like Tulane was the right school for me in terms of fit; I totally saw myself here. I toured two years ago and it just felt like home. It also checked off really every single box in a college, which did not happen with every other school. I wanted warm weather and a mid-size school. I feel like at Tulane you get the best of both worlds. There are so many resources that are easily accessible and it feels like a small school, but there are so many people to meet and so many things to do that it feels like a big school. The campus is also really easily navigable, and I really love the campus. Obviously, I was really impressed with the academics and the Business School, as well, and I thought that it would definitely help me have a successful career.
“Additionally, I also really liked that Tulane has a community service requirement for graduation, and it’s not just like one little requirement. There are multiple requirements over your time here, and they make it a big emphasis, which other schools that I looked at didn’t.”
What will you be majoring in?
“I’m planning on majoring in Finance. I’m a numbers guy, and I’ve always been interested in marketing and finance. My mom works in finance, and I’ve always found the work she does interesting. I’m also thinking of minoring in marketing, and might do a fifth year Master’s program here, as well.”
What are you most excited for?
“Now that I’m on campus, I’m excited to meet some awesome people, be able to connect and make some strong friendships, and have some fun.
“I’m also excited for my fall classes, including Financial Accounting, Statistics, a writing course, Intro to Jewish Civilization, and maybe an advanced level Spanish class. I’m also taking Sports and Culture in Spain for my first-year seminar, which I’m most excited for, even though it’s only an hour per week.”
Did you connect with your roommate or other students on campus before heading to campus?
“We had a roommate portal and there were a lot of people who were recommended based on a small survey that we took. From there, I talked to a bunch of different people, and I FaceTimed and really connected with some.”
How did you use the extra time you had over the last five months to reach out to people at school or make friends before you got to campus?
“I’ve never been to a NFTY North America [the Reform Movement for Jewish Youth, throughout North America] event, but I was able to do some virtual events this spring that became a good alternative. I met a girl from Georgia who is also going to Tulane, and we connected over Zoom and kept in touch over the spring. We ended up staying in the same hotel in New Orleans, before orientation, and we hung out for a while the other day. There was also a Facebook group for Tulane, so I reached out to a few people and ended up talking to two of them almost everyday throughout the whole spring and throughout the move-in process so far.”
Are there any offices on campus that you’ve connected with, such as Residence Life, Student Activities, or Disability Services?
“I met virtually with my academic advisor to help set my schedule, and I met with a success coach during the summer. I’m also thinking about connecting with the Center for Accessibility; I received extended time for exams in high school. I’m not sure if I’ll need accommodations in college, but it’ll be helpful to have just in case.”
What advice would you give to students going through the application process now?
“I think the best thing I did was that I went to a [weekend-long youth group] event, and I participated in the college program that was for sophomores and juniors. Before you start your search, they recommended that you come up with a list of criteria that you’re looking for in a school. It’s super helpful to know what you want in a school, instead of just looking at [a lot of schools] randomly. It was really helpful to organize the types of schools to look at, based on this list. It’s always really important to have your goals in mind and write them down, so that you can connect with the schools that most fit your goals.
“Also, it is really helpful to get ahead in the process; leaving everything to senior year is a [not a great] idea. [If you can], start touring schools you’re interested in during junior year. If a school cares about demonstrated interest, then I would try to identify which schools you’re interested in and make sure that you’re touring and attending virtual admissions sessions when you can to show real interest in the school.”
I love how Isaac has already utilized different resources on campus and used the summer to prepare. It was a great way to make use of the unexpected downtime during this strange COVID summer. He is already off to a great start as he dives into his first year at Tulane. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, Isaac! And stay safe in the storm!
Do you have questions about the college application process and finding the best schools for you or your student? Send an email to danaroseroth at gmail dot com to set up a complimentary 30-minute consultation!