You’ve read plenty about what you should and should not do during college visits. You know that to get the most out of each visit, you must record your visit by taking photographs and videos and making notes of what you see around you, what you hear from the tour guide as well as other faculty members and students, and most important of all, how you feel about the campus. You should also get the contact details of everyone you meet so that you can get in touch if you need any more information to help you make that crucial decision about whether or not that college is the right fit for you.
While all of these are solid tips that you should definitely not ignore, there are a few lesser-known college visit tips that can help make your college visit even more fruitful.
Tip #1: Schedule Your Visit For When The Weather Is Less Than Ideal
Spring, fall, and winter can give you three completely different versions of life on campus. All campuses look absolutely fabulous in spring when the sun is shining, the gardens are in full bloom and the students are in the best of moods. Most college campuses will be abuzz with activity during this season with students engaging in all kinds of outdoor activities or even just sitting on the lawns while studying in the sunshine.
Visit that very same campus during the winter and you will see another less-than-perfect side of the facilities. If you are visiting several colleges during different seasons, you must take into account the weather factor when you are comparing the different colleges. This does make a big difference to your impression of the campus.
If you get a chance to revisit campus, try visiting another time of the year to see multiple sides of your potential new home.
Tip #2: Don’t Just Focus On The Attractive Features Of The College
Checking out only the college’s best features and facilities will give you a skewed impression of what the campus is like. This can only set you up for disappointment if you enroll in that college and then get to see its other side. Keep in mind, there is no escaping the less-than-attractive side of any college once you are part of the institution. It’s better to get the real picture BEFORE you enroll.
One thing you should do is to visit more than one residence hall. Most colleges spruce up those residence halls that they intend to put on display to prospective students but does not necessarily mean you will be given that exact accommodation as a student. You could be put up in a completely different wing or a different building altogether. Check out the other residence halls you can set more realistic expectations of where you are going to be staying.
Also, make it a point to speak to at least a few students on campus. Students are not trying to sell you the college and are sure to give you the true behind-the-scenes story, warts and all.