4 Ways To Make The Most Of Your College Visits

Visiting schools can be a very exciting time, and certainly a different  experience. This is your chance to sample the schools that you may be going to, in a much more thorough way than a pamphlet, internet investigation, or even phone call would. This puts you beyond the school’s marketing, you can get a real sense of what the school and student body is like.

Additionally, this is one of the school’s biggest chances to impress you, whether it is on one of their preferred visit days, or an individually scheduled visit.  This is your, the student’s, chance to ask questions, take notes, and be in charge. So how can you make the most of your time on campus?

Take A Tour

This is probably the most obvious one, as  it’s practically a necessity for visiting campuses. Regardless, there are a number of different ways that you could go about doing just this. If you get the chance, you could just walk around the school on your own. While this may be the best way to just observe, there is no guarantee that it’ll be as informative as a guided tour, you’d most likely be relying on the kindness of passersby.

Your other actions rest in the hands of the school employees, either full time admissions workers, or student workers.  They both will have a wealth of information for you, and will be able to take you into parts of the school that you may not be able to access on your own, like dorm rooms.  The student workers, would, understandably, be able to give you a more accurate take of how things are in the student body, so if possible, go to them.

Go Out For Lunch

Perhaps one of the most dreaded parts of campus life is the cafeteria, but it is still important to check it out. On visit days, admissions might have arranged a meal for you there anyway, but if that is not the case, it is good to go.

Some things to consider are:

  • Are all of your dietary restrictions met?
  • Is there enough variety there that you’d go?
  • What are all of your dining choices on campus?
  • And most importantly, how does it taste?

Fortunately, not all college cafeterias are as bad as they are made out to be, and excluding some very small ones, there are a number of dining options to choose from.

Spend The Night

If possible, spend the night in the dorms. If you know someone who lives on campus that’d be willing to take you in for the night, that’d be great, but otherwise admissions could arrange it for you.  Speaking from experience, this is a great way to figure out if the school is what you really want.

Your hosts may not be your type of people, but if nothing else, you’ll begin to understand where you’ll want to be, and what you’ll want to when you get to school. If your hosts and you do get along, you’ll have some friends to look forward to arriving at school. Regardless, this gives a good look at the dorms, the campus, the students, and their activities. It’s the closest you can get to going to school without paying tuition.

Attend A Class

More specifically, a class that you could see yourself taking, either for your major or a gen ed. This will give you a good idea of what you will be learning, the workload of the course, and the teaching styles and methods used by the professors. Most professors are accommodating, again, either with a friend or with admissions, and will fill you in on what the class is learning, and offer help if needed. Classes you would want to avoid would be, obviously, test days, as well as student presentations, or anything out of the ordinary for that class.

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Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes is a senior at Benedictine University, with a double major in Writing & Publishing and Theology. She spends her free time working on Benedictine’s newspaper, The Candor, as well as being a member of Daughters of Isabella, Students for Life, and helping around University Ministry. Any other extra time is filled with reading, writing, cooking, video editing, biking or walking around the lake.

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