Taking the Next Step: Campus Tours

So you’ve decided that you want to go to college, and you’ve even selected a few colleges that fit your needs.  When narrowing down your choices one of the next steps to take would be taking a campus tour.  This will give you a more hands-on approach to see what the campus will be like, and actually seeing first hand if it’s a good fit for you.

  • Get to Know the Campus

Your best bet at getting to know the campus would be to take a tour.  A lot of the time students are leading the tours, and they will know the in’s and out’s of what there is to know.  Ironically, my first campus tour was at UC Davis, and it was immediately my first choice to apply for.  I loved the campus; the luscious, green lawns right across a huge coffee house drew me in and I knew this would be an incredible place to study.  Most buildings were very close together, and a lot of students bike everywhere, leading me to know that this would be the way of getting around.

  • Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions to whoever is leading the tour.  This could potentially be the college you attend!  Get to know the campus, the type of people who attend, the best places to study, etc.  I asked the student leading the tour what kind of weather I should expect there, where the library was located, where the dorm rooms are, and where you’re allowed to park your car on campus.  She had a reply to every question, and it made me feel much more comfortable knowing definite answers coming from a student.

  • Plan for the Right Time

The one mistake I made was choosing to take a campus tour during the summer.  There was no breeze and the temperature was close to being in the hundreds.  By the end of the tour I was more focused on finding my car than listening to the tour guide, which is definitely a mistake.  My best advice would be to go during the fall or springtime when the weather is nice enough to be out in.

  • Bring a Parent or a Friend

I would advise you to bring someone you’re close to who you can trust.  A second opinion is helpful, especially if they will be brutally honest about the pros and the cons to each campus you look at.  At the very least take notes for yourself to review later on.  The tour guide will be informing you of many things, and I promise there’s no way of remembering everything, especially differentiating from different colleges.

Remember that even though taking campus tours can be a time consuming task, it will definitely benefit you later on down the road.  Don’t assume that you can show up when you’re moving in and know where everything is at – this takes time.  Taking a campus tour will not only familiarize yourself with the area, but you can see what the typical college day is like.

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Kali White

Kali White

Kali White is a junior at the University of California, Davis pursuing a degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Her goal is to have a career working for a publication company writing and editing. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors, reading, playing and listening to music, and travelling.