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Where should I go if I have political aspirations?

QUESTION: My love is American history, especially from Woodrow Wilson to Harry S. Truman. Every time I read historical writing it all makes sense to me and I feel as though it is my gift. What I would like to do is simple. Get my bachelor's, then master's and then my Ph.D. After publishing a few books and teaching history and political science at a prestigious university I will throw my hat in the political ring. If I'm not elected Governor/Senator/President, I will work for the government as an aide to the president. I'll be Kissinger, Stevenson, Condi Rice famous for this. When my years of political brilliance are finished I will retire outside of D.C. and will give seminars that will draw large crowds. This is just a dream and I realize this might not happen. My question is this: What should I do from now, my junior in high school, until college to prepare for this? What colleges offer me the best opportunities? Are there colleges that are famous for their history or political science departments? Signed, Confused Historian

Dear Confused Historian: It sounds like you are anything but confused. You have your future more mapped out than most college graduates. We admire your ambition.

As you are getting ready for college, you can start getting involved in the political arena now. Contact some local politicians and ask if you can help with their campaigns. Or, volunteer with an organization to recruit voter participation.

Since you have political ambitions, it seems that the political center of our country may be the best location for you. Georgetown and George Washington University located in Washington, DC, have well respected political science and history programs. Colleges located in our nation's capital will allow you to find internships and meet other students with similar aspirations. But you don't have to limit yourself to Washington, DC. One of the best ways to find the best college matches is to find professors researching areas in which you are interested. Look at publications in political science such as "World Politics," "Foreign Affairs" and "American Political Science Review." See who the authors are and where they teach.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.