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How to Design Your Perfect College

Aug 22 2012 at 11:22 am by

mad scientist“It’s alive…. Aliiiiiiiiive!!” says the maniacal Dr. Frankenstein. Creation. It is a beautiful thing. And needless to say, it’s almost a necessary thing.

So what if we could create our perfect college? – Actually create a perfect college?

No, we’re not going to put bras on our heads and hum like Buddhists in the middle of our computer room. And Kelly LeBrock isn’t going to show up at our door wearing skimpy clothing either.

(To be fair, I love that movie!)

Yes, while creating something living (sort of) has its appeal, it’s nothing like simulating the idea of a ‘perfect’ college. There’s really no such thing. Every college has strengths and weaknesses. So it’s never going to be a perfect fit. But even the weaknesses, a student can learn from, just as much as from the strengths.

It still would benefit any prospective college student to know what the perfect college might be, and this quiz is designed to help that prospective college student see the light! What is this quiz, you may ask?

Creating Your Perfect College 

First off, know that a pretty linear college would eventually saturate any student’s soul.

Attend a complete “party” school, and you’re bound to be found passed out in your dorm room during midterms (which can lead you to a trip back home to your parents’ house).


Beer Pong

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If you chose to attend a purely academic school, where’s the fun in that? School has always been about the social as well as the academic. It’s preparation for being a human being. No one wants to sit in a lecture hall 24/7 writing notes and turning into a mainframe computer. It’s just not healthy.


Cost, of course, is a big consideration, balanced by amenities and luxury. Do you care if your dorm room is the size of a palace hall? Or do you just care that you have a bean bag chair in front of your tiny TV?

There is a balance here to creating the perfect college. So let’s begin, my students:

Question 1:

Midterms are coming up. And you’re facing disaster as you haven’t studied. Thankfully, you have the resources necessary to get the information ingrained in your brain for the big test day. What are those resources?

a)      A hangover (missing the test)

b)      A quick road trip to the nearest city library

c)      Walking out of the door of your dorm hall into a bookshelf

Question 2:

You’re starving. That’s always the case as a college student, really. You’re in your dorm room, and you have a choice. You….

a)      Order a pizza from Domino’s

b)      Fire up a bowl of ramen noodles in your tiny microwave

c)      Make a beeline for the mess hall for those yummy grilled chicken dumplings

Question 3: 

toga partyA group of friends show up right outside your dorm hall, throwing rocks at your window. You show up at the window rubbing your eyes at 2 PM (because you stayed up till 4 AM playing video games) asking them what they want. They want to know if you would like to….

a)      Go to a Toga Party

b)      Head over to the stadium for one of their many football games

c)      Watch the school’s debate team compete for the national trophy

Question 4:

Guess what: you’re strapped for money. Why? Because tuition’s up. And it’s a hefty amount of money. You already spent your chump change on the latest lava lamp, so you can’t reach into your own pocket. What do you do?

a)      Beg your mom and dad for a little extra dough

b)      Work as a Teacher’s Assistant, because they actually get paid pretty decent money

c)      Head for your advisor’s office to get some easy financial aid

Put Your Pencils Down. It’s Time to See What Your Perfect College Is.

Want to see the results? These will be real results, though, as in actual colleges you can research on. They’ve been voted as superlatives on several factors:

Best academics

  1. Best amenities
  2. Best fun
  3. Best athletics
  4. Best cost

Needless to say, no school can have all of these. But because of this test, you can know for sure what may be the perfect college for you.

Here we go….

  1. Every a) answer, is worth 1 point
  2. Every b) answer, is worth 2 points
  3. Every c) answer, is worth 3 points

Here Are the Categories….

The Schools of Luxury and Academics: (Point Total, 10-12)


Nothing’s too good for you. If you could have a hot tub and sauna right in your dorm room, you would, and this perfect college of yours does have that amenity. Let’s not forget the executive chefs of your dining palace, offering you the very best in cuisine. Your perfect college also has a massive library in every dorm hall, bigger than a library in any law firm. The tuition’s immense, but because you’re part of a super-rich family, it’s no biggie.

Colleges that may fit your profile: the University of Chicago, Brigham Young University, Pomona College, Pepperdine University, Wheaton College in Illinois, Wagner College, Davidson College.


The Schools of Spirit and Athletics (Point Total, 7-9)


crimson tide staduim


Thrills are the name of the game here in this perfect college. The dorm rooms are okay. All you need is a TV, an XBOX, and a bean bag chair. Maybe a bed. In addition, the academics are par for the course, because really all you’re interested in is the community feel, the collegiate soul, and the thrill of a touchdown. You may even join the marching band if you’re not into playing sports. Or maybe you’re the gambling sort and can be found in a bar watching the big games. Whatever the case may be, what this perfect college of yours offers is a lot of fun in the sun, great sports traditions and a lot of nostalgia. This perfect college still does cost a pretty penny, but thanks to some sweet financial aid, it’s all good.

Colleges that may fit your profile: Marlboro College, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Florida, Eugene Lang College.


The Schools of Party Hearty and Sleep All Day (Point Total, 4-6)


You just want the experience. The guttural, gritty, visceral experience of being so incredibly lazy. That’s not a terribly bad thing, though. College is a learning experience. Frats and sororities are huge here. It’s about partying, beer, liquor, George Clinton, punk bands, and sleeping all day. Ordering pizza every day because the food is terrible, dorm rooms are like dungeons; but because of your demeanor, it’s really cool. And academics? It gets by, period. And comma. In the end, when all these students end up being seniors, they know what they’re doing, they know what they want, and they know what they’ve been through, teaching all the life lessons a person can learn.

Colleges that may fit your profile: the University of Oregon, SUNY at Albany, Bard College, Washington and Lee University, DePaul University.


There’s a College Out There for Everyone

Embracing diversity, invention and originality. Know what to expect when it comes to your college of choice. These prospective colleges listed in each category have been profiled to fit the characteristics, for sure. And each category serves a tremendously important purpose in your journey as a college student.

So choose. Choose wisely. For while the true grail will bring you life, the false grail will take it from you!

indiana jones lego

Image Credit: Sonia Blanco

(I love that movie, too!)

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