The Top 10 Tips to Make the Most of Your College Visits
This is it. You are going on college visits. Just a short time ago you were starting high school and now you are thinking about college! For some of you this may seem a bit scary (and that’s OK!) and for some of you, this is a day filled with excitement. For all of you, this is the time when you are going out to discover the college that is right for you. Whether you are flying out to visit schools, driving a few hours away, or checking out the schools around the corner, we have the Top 10 Tips to make the most of your college visits.
Sounds simple enough, right? A bit boring? It shouldn’t be! Research is key to knowing what to expect before you get on campus. Get online and check out the school’s website, watch online videos, and make sure to visit the school’s social media channels. Find out as much as you can before you get there.
2. Get the student perspective
Whether you chat with students before you go, plan to meet up with them on campus, or stay overnight with them in the dorms, the perspective of a current student will really help you understand what it is like to be a student there. What are classes like? What’s it like living on campus? What is campus life like outside of the classroom?
3. Take pictures – and lots of them!
Yes, selfies in front of the quad are awesome, but you’ll also want to take pictures of the campus, buildings, dorms, and just about anything else that will help you remember the college + your visit. After several college visits, it may all start to blend together. Pictures can help you remember what you like and also what you may not have liked about a college.
4. Eat in the dining hall
You’ll be spending four years of your life on campus. Don’t you want to try the food?! And also, it may help you appreciate mom’s home cooking!
5. Visit the student union
This is where you may be spending a lot of your time – and, you’ll likely see students here. The student union is a great place to get a feel for campus life. You’ll also likely be able to visit the bookstore here, check out study areas, and see what else you can do to relax away from your dorm room and classrooms.
6. Explore academic departments
Do they offer the majors of study you are interested in? Is the area you want to study a strong department at the colleges you are visiting? What is the typical class size and how are classes structured? Classes can range from very small discussion groups to very large lecture courses and everything in between. Even better? Try to attend a class while you are on campus.
7. Read the the student paper
The newspaper is student run so you’ll get a great idea of what’s important to students on campus and what’s going on. From sports, to student groups, to events – this will have all the info you need to feel in the know.
8. Don’t overschedule yourself!
Yes, you’ll want to sign up for a campus tour, and you’ll want to visit academic departments, and check out some key places on campus, but you’ll also want some free time to explore on your own. Wander around on campus and just get a feel for what it would be like to just be there.
9. Visit the city around campus
Yes, you will be living on campus, but chances are in 4 years you will also venture off campus to check out the nearest city or town. Don’t wait until you get there to do that. Check out what’s off campus as well.
10. Write down the what you liked and did not like before you leave campus
Make sure to write down the positives and negatives before you leave campus. At the end of all your visits, it may be difficult to remember all the details from every school you visited.