Top 5 Things To Avoid During A College Campus Tour

It’s that time; the days are longer, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and college tours can be seen across campuses. This past weekend even the Art Institute of Chicago took over the old Chicago Stock Exchange trading room to hold a luncheon with rotating tours of the museum and the school. No matter where you go, you’ve seen the prospective students.

Now if you are a student on a tour, you’re serious about deciding which college you see is right for you. At least, you should be. But how you act on the tour can give the wrong impression and keep you from seeing something that might be important to your final decision on where to go. To keep you from making any mistakes, here are my top five things not to do on a college tour:

  1. Have Your Eyes Constantly on Your Cell Phone –  This looks bad. Not only do you look like you don’t care, but you look young, inattentive, and just plain bored. Perhaps you’ve already gotten in so it’s not like they can judge you, but that still doesn’t look good on your part and you’re missing out on the point of a tour. It’s your time. You and your parents have taken time out of busy schedules to see what the school has to offer. Even when just walking between buildings, look at the sidewalk, the other students, and the layout of the campus. You can’t do that with your eyes on the phone. Turn your cell phone on silent for a little bit and enjoy seeing where you could spend the next two to four years of your life.
  2. Not Ask Questions – Hit you with a double negative there, I know, it’s awful. But, it is important to ask questions and make sure you’re getting something out of the tour. If they don’t take you to certain parts of the campus, ask about them. If you don’t get to go into a classroom, ask if you can or what they’re like or where they are. Asking questions is the easiest way to make sure you’re getting something specific to you out of the tour. Otherwise you might feel like it was a general, pointless waste of your time, and we don’t want that.
  3. Ignore the Guide – We all know that perhaps the tour guides will be too quiet or focus on history rather than the functionality of the campus, but that doesn’t mean you should tune them out. They say these things for a reason. While part of it might not be helpful, most of it will be interesting, helpful, or at least something good to know when you do (or don’t) go to that school. Sometimes they point out things that even students wouldn’t know about if they didn’t go on the tours, so be sure to keep an ear up and attentive.
  4. Talk During the Whole Tour – It’s always more fun to go on the campus tours with friends or family. They’ll help keep you focused and make the boring parts a little more fun. But that doesn’t mean you need to chat up a storm throughout every minute of the tour. In fact, you should be listening more than talking. Side comments, discussions about what was said, or small chit chatting when the tour guide isn’t talking and you’re moving is fine. Yet you want to keep your focus on the tour and the campus itself. This isn’t even mentioning that you talking the whole time is a bother to the other people on the tour.
  5. Not Pay Attention to Where You Are Going – First, it’s dangerous. College campuses are full of people no matter what kind of location they are in. You need to watch where you’re going to make sure you don’t get hurt and don’t get in other people’s way. You also want to pay attention to make sure you can back track and find these places later. Even if you don’t eventually go there, you might visit a friend, or you might just want to go back to one of the places right after the tour has ended to see something. If you keep mental notes about where you’re going on campus it’ll make traveling around the campus much easier in the future.

Now that you’re prepared, keep your eyes and ears ready for anything that you can take in during the college tour. Don’t forget, these are important to get a feel for the campus and really decide if it’s the right school for you.

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Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich is a senior creative writing major at DePaul University. She is minoring in journalism and aspires to be the next big food writer. Her love of writing propels all she does from her food blog to online magazine articles. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably baking. She has a ferocious sweet tooth and adores cupcakes of all shapes and sizes.