A few decades ago, a college was labeled adventurous if it had an outdoors club and a climbing wall. Now those are standard fare at every school. To really stand out, universities are offering majors like outdoor education and ecology, sending kids around the world for fieldwork, or taking them into their own backyards for wilderness expeditions. “It’s beyond your wildest dreams, there’s just so much out there,” says Deena Maerowitz, a private education consultant who helps teens navigate the admissions process.
If you feel the call of the wild, there’s good reason to opt for one of these uber-outdoorsy schools. “College fit is so important. You need to be asking where am I going to thrive? Where am I going to be happy and successful?” says Maerowitz. Knowing you can major in something they're interested in, like wilderness therapy, while surrounded by classmates with the same thirst for adventure is the best way to guarantee that the next four years will be your best four years.