There's no question that the college process is intimidating, drawn out, and at times downright stressful. For me, this was especially true. As the son of two parents who went to college outside of the United States, I had little grasp of what to expect from the college process in my first three years of high school. Accordingly, when it came time to visit schools during spring break of my junior year, I was at a loss. I didn't know if I wanted a school that was big or small, urban or secluded, sports-oriented or more liberal-artsy. The only criteria I knew I had was that my college had to be East of the Mississippi River, because my mom wouldn't let me stray too far from home.