Getting The Most Out Of Your College Visits

College represents a new chapter in life, one in which you will be spending the next four years learning and living in a new environment. As such, making the most out of your college visits can give you insight into whether that college is the best experience for you or simply one to cross off the list. 

Whether you will be taking part in an official tour or simply conducting one on your own, it is a good idea to plan out your college visit in advance. Tour reservations fill up quickly, so it is best to schedule your tour well in advance or learn when the college will release its schedule so you can get in early. If you can, plan to visit the campus when school is still in session. Doing so will give you the truest sense of what campus life is like and will present many opportunities to meet students and professors. If the college offers it, consider an overnight stay and the option to sit in on a class to live like a student for a day! 

Once on campus, you can take part in an official tour, ask for a group information session, or look into a self-led tour. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to your guide and other officials but more importantly, to your future peers! Students on campus will be your best unfiltered resource for learning about the college experience. Remember, people have different interests and perspectives, so be sure to ask multiple students about their opinions and experiences. College visits will present a lot of information, so it is a good practice to take notes on important features or details a student or guide may mention. Doing so will not only help you remember each college visit more distinctly but may also provide you with information for future applications or interviews!

After the tour, take the opportunity to walk around campus. Visit the dorms, dining halls or the student center to learn about the social life on campus. Check out the school newspaper, bulletin or their social media accounts to learn about what is happening on campus and what students are interested or concerned with. 

As you become more experienced with college visits, you can begin to refine the questions you ask or narrow down the features or qualities that interest you most about your prospective school. Finally, take each first impression of a campus with a grain of salt. A lot of factors may just not align for your visit day, from bad weather to a less than stellar tour guide. But ultimately, trust your intuition. You will know best what college campus will make you happy for the next four years!