Touring a college campus can be excited and nerve-racking all at the same time.
It's very easy to get caught up in everything and to feel a rush of emotion running through you from the moment you check in up until the moment that you are off the campus. Here are some tips and things to consider while you are visiting a college campus.
1. Is the size of the campus OK for you?
The size DOES matter. This is the first thing you will probably ask yourself the moment you step foot on the campus. No matter how neutral you are trying to be, this will probably one of the things that will end up mattering to you the most. These will be the paths you will be walking on every day on your way to classes, so make sure to see if you like the size.
2. Ask as many questions as possible.
Don't worry about being annoying or anything. You have every right to ask as many questions as possible and it's the tour guide's job to answer all of those questions to the best of their ability. It will show that you are curious and interested about the school.
3. The city/area the campus is located in.
Let's be honest, you're not just going to live on the campus. You're going to become a part of the community surrounding the campus too. Whether you like the city or the countryside, just know ahead of time what you're looking for or maybe wait it out until you have a chance to explore the surrounding areas to see if it's a good fit for you.
4. Don't rush to judge.
Every school and campus you go visit will have a reputation, whether it's good or bad. Just don't be quick to judge it before you even step foot on it because if you do then it can plague your perspective on it before you even see it for yourself.
5. Tour your college building.
This is probably one of the most important things to do on your college tour. I cannot stress just how important this is because this building will probably be the one building you will spend most of your time in from any other building on campus. This is where most of your classes will be in and where you will put in the most work. Make sure that it is a well-equipped facility that can help you succeed academically and professionally.
6. Student to faculty ratio.
Not many people find this to be a crucial thing to worry about, but I personally do because I want to make sure that there will be at least one faculty member that I can go to for any help that I might need. The smaller number of students they work with than the better for me because I know that they will have and make the time to meet with me. Not only that, but they will also know me on a more personal basis, which can help me in the long run.
7. Ask about campus safety.
This is also an important thing to keep in mind, which is also a popular thing most parents have in mind, especially if their child is leaving home for college. It's important for them to know the safety on and off campus as well as knowing about the safety resources available.
8. Can you see yourself on the campus?
You need to be able to picture yourself on the campus to eventually make your decision, which is why I HEAVILY encourage students to go on tours of campuses of their choice. Do you see yourself walking these paths? Studying on these tables under the big tree? Going to that one coffee shop in the corner every Monday morning?
9. Does it feel at home?
Without a doubt, this is the most important thing. Like ever. The school you eventually choose will ultimately be your home for the next four years, or however long it takes you to get your degree. This is why it's important to feel comfortable with all of the exterior and interior characteristics of your college campus. Your college years are some of the most important years of your life and it is crucial for you to imagine yourself there and making it your own home with the foundation and resources at your disposal.
Obviously, there's so much more to remember and do when you're visiting a campus, but these are the things I consider to be the most important.
Most importantly, try to tour as many campuses as possible. Know all of your options and have good understandings of them, which is why it is crucial to ask questions. And no matter what you choose, it is not the wrong option.