On the way there Emily cried three separate times on the first day. I considered turning around and coming home, but thought that actually visiting the colleges might help her calm down and realize that there probably isn't one "right" college and she doesn't have to filter through a ton of info and pick "the one" or her whole life will be ruined. No matter what she chooses, she will be fine. She'll learn lots of things, get a degree, and go on with life.
We also discussed the idea that she doesn't have to go to college next year if it's stressing her out. She can work, continue to go to community college, go on a mission trip, etc. There is no law saying she has to go directly to college from high school. If she needs a breather, so be it. College will still be there when she's ready.
As it turned out, she got all her stress out with the crying, and she was calm and comfortable the rest of the trip. The visits were helpful as they knocked one college out of the running, moved two up on the list, and put one on the "maybe" pile.
More on the visits, coming up!