This week we’ll be discussing college visits! Depending on where you are in your college search journey, you may have already begun to visit colleges. College visits can be the most exciting part of the college application process (apart from getting your acceptance letter, of course). You get to explore college campuses, chat with students, and figure out if you can picture yourself enrolling there in the fall. In my opinion, the college visit is the one of the best ways to find out if a college is the right fit for you.
Many college visits will look similar. You’ll typically have the chance to sit in on an information session with an admission counselor and go on a campus tour led by a current student. This information is invaluable; however, I encourage you to go beyond that to get a true sense of life on campus. To help, I’ve included some tips below that will allow you to make the most of a visit to Sewanee or any other campus.
Explore beyond the traditional campus tour
After the official tour, explore the campus on your own. Was there something you missed on the tour that you’re curious about seeing? Go check it out. If you’re visiting Sewanee, bring your hiking boots and hit the trails or visit a restaurant in the Sewanee Village.
Take advantage of our custom visit options
Did you know some colleges offer additional visit options outside the campus tour and information session? Here at Sewanee, you can tailor your visit to fit your needs. Some of our custom visit options include adding an athletic appointment, faculty meeting, class visit, meeting with a current student, and more!
Eat in the dining hall
Trying out the campus dining experience is a must! Think about it: most of your meals over the next few years will be spent in the dining hall. Here at Sewanee, we have one central dining location on campus, McClurg Dining Hall. If you have the time while on campus, sit down for a meal! On most days, you and your family can purchase dining passes and eat among our current students.
Visit during the academic year, if possible
The best time to get a true sense of campus life is when classes are in session. Of course, things may look a bit different these days because of COVID-19. But in general, you’ll get the most realistic experience of a college if you visit while school is in session. Always remember, college holidays don’t always match up with public holidays, so check each school’s academic calendar before you visit.
Come prepared with questions
It can feel like a lot is being thrown at you at once during a college campus visit, and it can be easy in the moment to forget questions you want to ask. So, come prepared with questions either printed out or typed on the notes app of your phone. Try to stay away from questions that can be easily answered by looking at a school’s website. Instead, think of questions that will actually help you in your decision-making process.
Take notes and photos during the visit
Depending on how many you’re doing, college visits can start to blend together. Take photos and notes during your visit so that you can look back when you’re trying to make your decision about where to apply or attend. You don’t want to confuse two different campuses when making a decision about college.
Lastly, enjoy yourself!
Last (but certainly not least), remember to enjoy yourself while on campus. College visits are a time for information gathering, but try to plan your visits so that you’ll have enough time to get a feel for the campus and the surrounding area. Don’t try to fit in too many campus visits or even too much of one campus visit in a single day. Also, try to leave some time for something fun while visiting a college, such as a nearby tourist attraction.
Until next time,