As a high school junior or senior (or even earlier if you are really on top of it!), you are in one of the most stressful, yet exciting times of your academic career. Along with the pressure of advanced placement classes, SATs, ACTs, club involvement, and don’t forget an attempt at a social life, you are starting to think about your plans following graduation.
You will likely visit many schools during the next few months or years, so here is questions for you to keep in mind during these tours, coming from a college freshman.
1. What drew you to be interested in this college?
Something about your research on this college must have attracted you. It may have been its prestige, its location, its program, or its size, but whatever it is, you should recognize what made you want to visit for yourself.
2. How is the program for your major?
If you have a major in mind, an important factor when touring a school is the prestige of the program. During your tours, try to take into consideration any information you can receive about your major or program.
3. What backup major or program do they have?
Sure, you may be certain of your major and your career path, but you never know. Often, students have never taken a class related to their major, and may quickly realize they do not enjoy these classes. Maybe you will switch majors, maybe you will love your major and stick with it. Both are okay, but having a backup can help you feel more comfortable.
4. Do the clubs interest you?
You will likely hear this way too often when you move into college, but it is seriously so vital. Clubs may or may not be where you meet best friends, and that is okay. If nothing else, it will get you out of your dorm and help you explore your passions with your new peers.
5. How is the surrounding area?
As you tour more schools and are introduced to their surrounding area, you will discover which setting is best for you. It could be a city, it could be a suburban town, it could be in the middle of nowhere. Everyone has their preference and you will find what is best for you as you explore colleges and their area.
6. Does the size feel right?
Size is key in the comfortability of a school. This could refer to student body size or geographical size of the campus. Again, preference on this varies by student. Some want a small student body, some want medium, and some prefer large. Certain students desire a smaller walkable campus whereas others want a large, spread out campus.
7. Can you picture yourself going to school here?
Although everything mentioned should weigh into your decision on where to attend college, ultimately you will know if you can picture yourself at a school or not. It may not be a magical feeling of home as soon as you step onto campus, but eventually you will know if you can see yourself being comfortable and thriving at a school.