College Visit 101
With the school year approaching its halfway point, many students who are in their final years of high school are turning their sights to the world of college. This means that those students are going to be making the trek to the college campuses of their choice, so we have put together a list of things for them to remember when they take this next step:
- Visit when School is in Session
It’s pretty much impossible to know what the atmosphere of a school is like if you visit when school isn’t in session. Be sure to schedule your visit during the school year in order to get a good idea of what the school will actually be like. Talk to some students or sit in on a class if you get the chance, make sure you get a good feel for the environment. Some schools even allow for an overnight stay, which can be an excellent opportunity for you to learn what living there will be like.
- Come with LOTS of Questions
In order to maximize the information you walk away with, have a good amount of questions prepared for the tour. The tour guide is there to ensure that you leave the tour knowing as much as possible about the school, help them out by coming prepared with the questions you need to get that information.
- Explore the Campus Yourself
Obviously, you’re going to take the sanctioned tour on your visit to the school’s campus, but it’s important that you take some time to explore the campus on your own once the official tour is over. The tour the school sets up is designed to impress, so you’ll likely be shown the nicest parts of the campus, but if you want to really understand what going there will be like, go all over as soon as you get the chance.
- Get some food on campus
You’ll be eating at the school’s dining hall more often than not, so you should make sure it’s food that you can tolerate eating. Oftentimes tours will provide you with a voucher for a meal at the dining hall. So, if you can avoid the temptation to have your parents take you somewhere nice for lunch, drop by the dining hall when you have the time and see what you’ll be eating for the next four years. This is especially important if you have any dietary restrictions. Schools will be accommodating of whatever restrictions you may have, but you’ll still want to know how you are being accommodated. It’s one thing for the food to fit your diet, it’s another thing for it to actually be good while doing that.
- Save your top choices for last
You’re going to learn a lot each time you visit a school, so save the schools for which you are most excited for last so you can go into the visit with as much experience as possible. Perhaps what you thought was your dream school doesn’t stack up compared to some of the other places you visited, or maybe it complete exceeds all your expectations. Either way, you’ll want to have as much to compare it to you as you can so you can make the best choice for your future.
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