10 Tips for Making Your College Visits Successful
10 Tips for Making Your College Visits SuccessfulDuring the weekend, my dad and I flew out the east coast to visit a few possible college options for me next year. During the trip, I discovered a few strategies that helped me as we toured the schools. Following these ten tips will help give you a better idea of the schools you visit, and better enjoy your time there.1. Talk to the Students Though this can be daunting to some of us introverts, talking to the students and residents in the area can help you get a feel for the community of the school you are visiting.
- Go on Game Day For many schools, sports are a big part of the culture. Visiting campus on a game day can give you an up-close and personal perspective of the atmosphere.
- Go Local When visiting a potential college option, avoid your normal routines and remember to sample the local cuisine, listen to local radio stations and use public transportation. These will become part of your life as a student!
- Take a Self-Guided Tour There is always ample information on the internet to find odd ball facts about the new wing, school clubs and traditions. Ditch the tour guide and wander around. You'll be surprised what hidden treasures you may discover and change your feelings about a school.
- Keep Notes Though this may make you feel like a geek walking around campus with your notebook in hand, it can be helpful to remind yourself about the details of the school that strike you.
- Imagine Yourself as a Student Keep the question "Would I be comfortable here?" on the front burner as a reference during your visit. The biggest, most beautiful, most impressive school may not be your best fit.
- Give Yourself Down Time Don't rush yourself into a frantic schedule. Giving yourself time to digest a school before you move onto the next is important.
- Be a Tourist Don't be afraid to look like a high school student on a college campus. That's what you are. Ask lots of questions and relax. The visits are far less stressful that way.
- Make Appointments If possible, meet with a school administrator or staff member. This doesn't always work out, but these are the best people to talk to if you want to get inside information about the school. It also doesn't hurt if you happen to make an impression with an admissions board member!
- Just Relax Try not to feel like your college visit is a tryout for your admission. No one even has to know you are there. In the end, yours is the only opinion that matters, so just relax and take it all in.