As a senior back in high school I remember going on a few college visit to see what the best fit was for me. I felt full of excitement and wonder as I stepped onto each campus looking at the potential for what I might call home for the next four years.
Each college had so much to offer and it was kind of hard trying to keep it all in perspective. To help you with your journey, here are some tips to make the most from your college visit.
1) Make a list of everything you want to see/know about ahead of time – Having a list will give you a game plan and help keep you on track to use your time more efficiently. Additionally, prioritize the things you want to see and the people you want to talk to in case you do not have time for everything.
2) Consider majors you want to go into – What has that college done to make students successful in their academic field? One mark of a good school is how it prepares its students for the future. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions about job placement and the average years it takes to graduate – these things will directly impact your future.
3) Look at how you can get involved on campus – There are a lot of different clubs and organizations offered on college campuses. Some organizations are more academic, while others are more social. Some are for building skills and networking, and others combine everything. Additionally make note of what internships, recreational activities, and study abroad opportunities are available.
4) Familiarize yourself with the town – You will be spending four years in this place! So you will be spending time around the town. Considering looking at the restaurants, modes of transportation, and social and cultural experiences offered. Note what makes it unique compared to other colleges.
5) Talk to the students – No one knows the college better than those people who actually attend it. Having this first hand perspective will give you a more realistic picture and help you make a more educated decision. Never be afraid to ask questions because the whole point of a college visit is to get the most information possible. Ask questions ranging from academic to social life.
6) Sit in on class – This is what you’re going to be doing with your time in college, so why not sit in and see how it feels. Never base a decision on how exciting or dull a class is, but rather keep in mind the class size, the instructor-student relationship and just see if you can see yourself doing this for the next few years.
7) See the amenities – Make sure that you visit the campus recreation center, the library, the dining hall(s), and residence hall(s). Usually your tour will include these, but make sure that you see what you need to, to insure that you will fit comfortably on campus.
Remember that the whole point of the college visit is to get as much information as possible. So if you need to follow up and ask more questions, contact someone on campus or, if you can, schedule another tour to spend more time there. Never be afraid to ask questions.
These visits can be overwhelming and a lot of things can be thrown at you, but remember why you are there and what you want out of your college visit. Make a pro and con list of the experience. Talk over your impressions and thoughts with the people that went on these visits with you. Make sure that you will feel more comfortable about where you are spending the next four years of your life.