Things You Should NOT Do on Your College Visit

Here's some college advice on what NOT to do on a campus visit.

Flickr user Penn State

There are probably a million things that we can suggest for you to do on a college visit. How you tackle your college visit is up to you. However, we put together some college advice on some things that you absolutely shouldn’t do on your visit.

Do Not Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Whether these questions are directed at your tour guide, administration, professors, or other students, they’re gonna be good, worthwhile questions. It’s important to get a good feel for a prospective school. That means you have to ask your questions, get opinions, and talk to people who live, work, and learn in that environment.

Do Not Explore Only “Your” Part Of Campus

If you have a strong feeling about your major in college, awesome. You definitely want to explore the buildings dedicated to your field: You will spend a good amount of time there. However, between gen eds, electives, and possibly switching majors, you should take the time to learn about the rest of the campus. Where are the best places to study? Where are the bigger lecture halls? Most importantly, how do you get there? With some smaller campuses, it’s not a big deal, but it’s important to know how long it takes you to get to different buildings, especially if crossing campus takes fifteen minutes.

Do Not Be Disrespectful

If you’ve gone on several college visits, be mindful. While questions such as “College X had this cool thing, I was wondering if this school had something similar” are good, complaining or making a big deal of comparing/contrasting to your visit with another school is something to be done well away from tour groups and administration. Negativity can color people’s experience and give them a bad association with something, and you really don’t want to be the person whose negativity prevented someone else from choosing a school that was a great fit for them.

Do Not Get Wrapped Up Solely In The Social Scene

Making friends and relaxing every once in a while are important parts of college. All work and no play is not good for your overall health. But still, you should be focusing on the education aspect of a school during your visit. Just because your best friend is super excited about a school doesn’t mean you have to be, and even though all your high school friends are going to one school doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you.

Do Not Go In Blind

Do a little research before your college visit. This can help shape the questions you ask during your visit. Does it have a major or two that you’re interested in? What’s the school’s/department’s approach to a subject (i.e., is it more theoretical or practical, intensive analysis, lab hours, studio hours, etc.)? Does your prospective major have classes to support your intended career path (i.e., creative writing within and English major, various Engineering tracks, specialization in categories or subfields, and so on)?

Do Not Lack A Purpose For Your Visit

 Is this a see-if-I’m-interested visit? A should-I-apply-here visit? Or maybe an I’m-making-my-decision-soon-having-been-accepted visit? These examples will influence what questions you ask. Having a purpose for your visit will also mean the expense won’t be a waste of your time.

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