Class of 2019
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose." – Dr. Seuss
What You Should Consider Doing NOW: Visit College Campuses
Why is Visiting Colleges Important?
Would you buy a new pair of shoes without trying them on first? You could search online or a store and marvel at all the features and styles that are displayed. But until you lace up those new kicks and walk around in them, you won’t know if they’re truly the right fit.
The same can be said about colleges and universities.You can exhaust yourself with research into campus life, classroom dynamics, and housing options, but until you take the time to step on campus for the first time, you won’t know if that college is the right choice for you.
Successful college visits give you insights into what your life might be like if you decided to attend a college or university and if it matches with what you want.
How Do I Set Up a Campus Visit?
The first and best place to look for information on setting up a visit is a college’s website—specifically, its admissions page.
You can find helpful information such as how to schedule a walking tour of the campus, an information session with a certain department, and/or financial aid meetings.
But don’t be limited to what you see on the admissions page. Contact the admissions office to set up additional tours and information sessions.
You want to understand everything you can about the campus so you can make a proper decision about it.
This following list isn’t exhaustive. It’s designed to get you thinking about different aspects of college. If you have more activities planned, great! Schedule what you need to make an informed decision.
Plan a variety of activities like:
- Take a campus tour
- Explore the surrounding area
- Meet with a department advisor
- Chat with an enrolled student
- Sit in on a class
- Eat in the dining hall
- Attend a play or a sporting event
- Talk with a financial aid advisor
- Spend the night in a dorm
What Should I Bring to a Campus Visit?
As you participate in the planned activities, there are 3 important things that will make your visit more beneficial:
- The “Questions and Reflection” Worksheet
Use this worksheet as a guide to help gather information about the college’s different aspects during your visit.
- A notebook, camera, or phone
These will help you capture gut reactions and easily jot down or voice information you gathered along the way.
- A parent, guardian, or friend
Someone to help talk through reactions and thoughts about the school and give you another opinion on the experience.
After a visit, review your notes and talk it over with your support network. In the end, if you can see yourself there, then you may have found the right fit.