Monday I went over the importance of an overnight visit in a campus dormitory (if possible) and a trip to the campus dining hall as some non-traditional ways to enhance your college visit. But don’t leave campus without doing the things below too! Here is part two of how to make the most of your college visit, the non-traditional way.
There is more to college than just going to class. Sometimes parents and students forget that college students must survive in the college environment and make it a home away from home. This includes things such as finding your niche in the community. Are you religiously affiliated? Check out the campus ministries of different religions/denominations that are active on the campus you are visiting. If there is nothing for you within the radius of a few blocks of campus, do synagogues, churches, etc. in the area offer transportation for college students to attend services and/or do they seem to have a good outreach effort to college kids? If religion is important to you, this might be something to consider. Even if you don’t have a religious affiliation, ask about how pervasive that is on campus. If you don’t want to define your college experience by religious activities, you might not want to go to a religiously affiliated school. Be sure to ask about it while on your campus visit.
Where is a grocery store near your campus/dorm? This may sound simplistic, but it is amazing what kinds of things you will forget while enticed by the pretty quad or classroom buildings on a campus tour. Unless you have a butler or personal assistant who can do everything for you (and I have yet to meet a college student with one of these), you will have to go to the grocery store at some point during your college career, and most likely, you will have to go pretty often whether it is for snacks or just shampoo. It makes it easier on you to have that grocery store closer to campus so you can get to it when you need to. So check it out while on your campus visit. It’s really important, but also really easy to forget while enthralled with the excitement of a campus tour.
Parents and students—don’t forget to consider even the simplest things that you may take for granted at home, like the ability to easily attend religious services or even just get to the grocery store. These are all things to explore while on your campus visit.
College success can involve more than just going to class. You have to live there for at least four years. If you are not happy at your college campus, you cannot perform as well in the classroom. So take it from me—step out of the box and make more of your college visit—make it non-traditional.