4 Actions Guaranteed To Enhance Your Campus Visit Experience

Think you know where you’re going to college this fall?

If you haven’t visited yet, think again!

The websites are helpful, but they can’t tell you what the students are like or what campus town is really like.

College visits are essential in the college selection process. Consider it a time machine that gives you a very tiny, but helpful glimpse of the future!

Sometimes, the reality that you’ll soon be leaving the familiar environment of high school doesn’t hit us until we actually jump into our potential home for a day.

Just as it is important to put names to faces, it is critical to put a realistic picture to the applications and essays you’ve been working on!

For this reason, visiting prospective college campuses is super important, not to mention fun!

Although it may get you out of school for a day, college visits are no vacations. You are given just a few hours to get a glimpse of what your future may hold.

Sure, you have the website to bounce back on for an endless amount of information, but they won’t give you the infamous gut feelings, or give you a true insider’s take on everything from academics to sports.

The point I’m trying to make is, college visits aren’t easy, but there are some things you can do to make your visit fun and productive!

Have a goal before you arrive.

Even if it’s on the car ride there, set a few goals for your visit day…

  • Maybe you have specific questions about scholarships;
  • What students in your future major have done after graduation; or
  • What kind of job opportunities are available on campus.

No matter what the doubts you have are, make it a goal to leave campus with absolutely no questions.

Don’t be shy, your guides and mentors for the day are being paid to answer all of your questions and want you to be as comfortable as possible on campus!

Take a break from your parents.

Take your parents with you for the big day, as this is just as important to them as it is to you. BUT do remember that they won’t be walking you to class next year and making sure you’re eating your peas.

In other words, break away from them sometime during your visit if possible. Even if it’s walking through a lecture hall or student center, you’ll get a true perspective on campus when you are on your own.

Don’t be a tourist all day.

Feeling like a tourist all day with a free bag full of brochures won’t get you in the I-could-be-a-student-here mode whatsoever.

Even if you need to ask for directions, hit up the local coffee shop or another eatery, get comfy, and walk around campus without a tour guide.

Trust me, students are always willing to give you directions or make suggestions of where to eat if they’re proud enough of their school.

Start networking while you visit.

Consider it your first college assignment…

Remember that as you meet administrators and professors on your visit, they could easily be your future mentors. Some of my first semester teachers remembered my classmates and I’s names from visit days held in the spring, which got rid of first day jitters very quickly and gave us something to talk about.

Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the professor, and even nab some contact information in case you have follow up questions (and you will).

With all of this in mind, you should better enjoy your day on campus. Reflect on your day for a little every day, and soon you will have made a great decision!

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Kaitlyn Taylor

Kaitlyn Taylor

Kaitlyn Taylor is a freshman at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in Spanish. She comes from a small farm town of 1,000 in West-Central Illinois, making the transition to a large campus challenging. At school Kaitlyn is involved with the University’s Women Glee Choir, and also sings in her Church choir and is involved with her residence hall’s Resident Board. She enjoys writing, biking, and volunteering.
Kaitlyn Taylor

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