Sometimes doing a traditional campus tour and sitting in on a class is just not enough to find out all you can about a school you might be attending for four years of your life. This series provides tips for parents and students to make the most of their campus visits.
There will be time at college that you will not spend in class or at the library studying. Free time is a great time to de-stress and do things you enjoy. So it is obvious that you should find out if you can still participate in things you enjoy while at college. When on a college visit, explore the campus and community to see if it offers what you want out of your out-of-class activities. Do you like to hike? It might be worthwhile to find out if there are opportunities to do so with other students near campus. Have you always dreamed of working at a college radio station? You better check to see if they have one. Play the piano, but don’t want to be a music major in college? See if there are piano practice areas on campus that non-music majors can use. You get the idea. Maintaining and enjoyable lifestyle is a priority for keeping your sanity in college, and it provides great study breaks. But if there are things you know you can’t live without, you better make sure that the college you attend has them.
Where will you be living while a student on campus? Most students automatically think that they will be living in a dorm, of course. But it is not always that simple. Some schools cannot guarantee every student on-campus housing. And even if you live on campus your freshman year, do you want to do so for all four years, or is it typical for students to move off campus and live in apartments after their first year? If you find out that you might need to explore off-campus housing for one reason or another, you will want to consider, at least in a cursory manner, such things as cost, availability, safety, etc. You don’t want to be caught in a bad situation when you find out that you are not granted a place in campus housing or when you want to move off campus after your first year and don’t have any good options for off-campus housing. Thinking ahead might just save you and your family some major headaches later.
Well, that’s it. We made it through a non-exhaustive list of ways to make the most out of your campus visit; ways to make it non-traditional. College success takes all shapes and forms, from making good grades to enjoying your time outside of class. With these tips you can make the most of your time visiting a campus and feel more confident about how to rank schools you are considering attending.