Campus Visit: Find out how Important that One Visit can Be
“You Can’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover”
While this cliché can be applied to a great number of situations in life, it shouldn’t necessarily be applied to the experience of visiting a college campus. Even still, you may arrive at a campus and feel that you are being forced into just “judging the cover” of the campus, especially when going on a guided, preplanned tour. Here are a few ways to make this best of this sort of situation.
Touring a campus will allow you to get a feel for the school, the atmosphere created by both the physical campus itself, and those that populate it. The figures in college guides like average GPA, number of students, etc are all well and good, but those numbers can deceive. You could visit a school that appears huge on paper, but once on campus, you might find that it has a very small, tight-knit community atmosphere.
Remember, you will be spending a lot of time over the next few years on the campus you choose, and you’ll be happy later if you give the campus life some real consideration when deciding where to go to school. You want it to be a good fit… not too big, not too small, and with not only the right number of people, but the right type of people. Whether you want the funky feel of a small artistic community or the fast paced excitement of a large state university, the only way to know for sure that you are headed for the right school is to go check it out yourself.
Most schools offer guided campus tours given by current students, where parents and potential students can tour the campus and ask questions. This is a decent way to experience the campus, and more often than not, the student guides will be open to any questions, even if they aren’t strictly academic.
Another thing you may want to consider is sitting in on an introductory level freshman class. This will help you get an even better feel for the school, and you will know a bit more about what to expect the first day of class, should you decide to attend.