College visits are a vital part of the college search process. By actually touring the campus, physically being there, you can determine if a college “feels” right. It’s an important thing to discover; you’re going to be spending the next 4+ years there, after all.
During a visit, you can tour the campus, take a peek at the dorm rooms, peruse the local shops and restaurants, look into the classrooms, meet with professors, sit in on classes, interview with admissions officers, talk with current students, ask questions, and more.
But what should you do afterward?
Write Up a Pros and Cons List
When you get a chance, sit down and write down a list of what you really liked about the visit. Did you like the layout of the campus? Were there a lot of resource centers? Did you like the gym? Were the professors interesting? There are a lot of things to keep in mind, so jot down everything positive about the trip.
Once that’s done, it’s time to switch over to the negatives. What did you dislike? Was the bus system tricky to figure out? Were the dorms far away from the classrooms? Was there a lack of student events? Did they not have the club you wanted to join?
Of course, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons. No college is going to be 100% perfect, not even your dream school. What are you willing to sacrifice? What is a deal-breaking must-have?
Collect and File All Materials
You were probably given handbooks, pamphlets, flyers, and all sorts of other information about that school. Along with any notes you took during the tour, gather all the materials you got and organize them together. Later on, when you’re comparing different colleges, you have all the info in one neat place.
Have a Conversation with Your Parents
Assuming your parents went on the tour with you, sit down and have a conversation about your experiences. They may have seen or thought of things you hadn’t considered, and vice versa. Talking about the event can help solidify your own thoughts.
Revise Your College List
The visit likely strengthens or weakened your desire to attend that particular school. Now it’s time to go through your list and either strike off or star certain colleges. Reevaluate your list (and do so each time you’ve visited a new college). This can greatly help narrow your choices.
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