Senior Advice about Visiting Colleges: How to be Productive During Spring Break Visits

Lucy Davidov ‘20, Staff Writer

Visiting colleges is a fun and exciting time in every student’s life. You get to visit new places, meet new people, and envision yourself in a new atmosphere. When visiting universities, it is important to pay attention to detail and to get an emotional feel for the school. Here is a list of 5 important things to remember when touring a school. 

  1. Take notes! When visiting several colleges in a small period of time, it is easy to mix up information about the schools (learned at information sessions or on campus tours); hence, document your time at each college by taking notes. They do not have to be super comprehensive. They can be something as simple as a pro-con list while you drive off campus. 
  2. Visit an array of schools. Many students go on these visits without an understanding of what they want in a school. It is vital to visit schools of different sizes, atmospheres, and geographical states so you are able to see yourself in these different areas and find what you like. 
  3. Plan ahead. Believe it or not, tours do sell out! If you wait too long, the school you are dying to visit could not have room for you in their information session. It is important to sign up for information sessions in advance and plan distances to ensure that you are on time, prompt, and organized.
  4. Take advantage of the school’s resources. While you are there, try to live like a student would – eat at the school’s dining hall or pick up the student newspaper to discover what exciting activities and clubs are on campus to get a glimpse of student life. 
  5. Talk to students. Students on campus are usually very welcoming to visiting students, eager to answer your questions, and excited to tell you why they love their school. They are also knowledgeable on many academic and non-academic aspects of the school. Even if you don’t have specific questions, ask students on campus where their favorite place to eat is in town or what they like doing on the weekends.
  6. Follow your gut. A lot of times, students come to a college with preconceived ideas. It is so so so important to arrive at each college with an open state of mind. No one should walk into a tour with negative ideas looming in the back of their brains because then that will be all they will be able to think about. Be honest with yourself, let yourself really see yourself at the school, and judge it truthfully. Overall, follow your gut whether it is accepting that your dream school really isn’t right for you, or that the school you thought you disliked may not be as bad as you thought. Let yourself be the judge of every school you visit and follow your own heart, not your friends, parents, or classmates.