For anyone heading off to college, one of the most important things to do during the process is to stop by the Dean’s house and shake his/her hand. Now, doing so may make you seem like a stalker, therefore, I offer a second suggestion; Visit any college you have an interest in. Even if it isn’t your first choice, visiting safety or match schools are just as important because they allow you to verify what type of college/university fits you best.
One of my favorite parts of visiting colleges was getting to eat at their cafeterias. The quality of food in college is very important. Not, only is food awesome, it is also what will be there when you are studying late, or need some comfort food when you are feeling home sick. But more importantly than how the food tasted, was how happy the students looked who were eating it. Food can only go so far until the quality of the college comes into play. I like to think food relaxes us. It opens us up and shows how we are really feeling. If we are happy and calm and enjoying the meal then the overall environment where we are spending our time most be enjoyable too. There is much more to pay attention to while visiting the campus. Additionally, you should pay attention to the atmosphere. Each college has its own mojo. The flow of it is unique to any other place and while walking around campus you need to pick up on this. Is the college laid back, or is it career orientated? How open is the campus, is there a lot of areas to sit and study outside, or is it city-like, with more buildings? Each college is different to other colleges but the atmosphere of an individual college is also different during different time periods. I found it more informative to visit a college during a semester. This way you will be able to see the college running at full force, with more students, and it will be easier to pick up on the flow.
Before a college visit or even instead of if one of your choices is to far to visit, it is important to spend some time on the college’s website. Anything you could possibly need to know is usually on the website and if it isn’t then you could always call the school and they would be more than happy to help. I personally always visited the website the night before my visit so I would have a refreshed background of the school and would be able to pinpoint things that interested me that I could look for during my visit.
In the end, college visits are very important because they will give you information and exposure other venues of information about the school can not. I loved visiting colleges and the environment and mojo of each college allowed me to have a better understanding of whether or not I fit at the school. I urge all of you to do the same, visit colleges that interest you, pay attention and get as much information as you can, maybe you’ll fall in love with one and make it your new home.