Spring break is just around the corner, and that means college tour season is right around the corner. High school juniors are getting their first look at schools they may want to apply to, and seniors are getting one last look at the schools they are interested in attending in the fall.
It is important to go on college tours to get an inside look into the culture, classes and atmosphere of the school you may be attending for the next few years. Do you want to get the most out of your college tour? Here's how you can make that happen.
When you go on a college tour, be sure to ask your tour guide questions. Remember, they are a student at this school. You can ask them real questions about the school, like what classes and professors are really great, and what the best food is at the dining hall. While on tour, point out things that you are curious about including classrooms, wellness centers and residence halls. Don’t pretend like you didn’t want to know which dorm has the most closet space.
Talk to Real Students
Many tour guides are taught to stick to a specific script and tour. After your scheduled tour, take some time to explore on your own and talk to real students. Ask them the questions you really want to know the answers to, like what are the fun events on campus, which professors should you avoid and which dorms are the ones everyone wants to get into. Ask them what their favorite and least favorite things are about the school. They can give you the true inside scoop.
Sit in on a Class
While you are at the school, sit in on a class. If possible, try to find a class that is in your future major. It will help you get a feel of what the real academic experience is like.
Talk with Faculty
Some tours include this as part of your tour, especially if you already have an idea of what major you would like to pursue. See if you can stop in and talk with some of the faculty from the department. Ask them questions about the classes that are required for your major and what minors may compliment your major choice. Who knows, you may be talking with your future academic advisor. If they are very open to talking with you, you will also know that they will be easy to talk to when you may need help in their classes.
Most importantly, you want to make sure that the school you choose is the right fit for you academically, financially, socially and culturally. These are all hugely important when making the decision. If something doesn’t feel right, keep looking. When you find the right school, you will know it. Send in those applications and keep touring. Good luck!
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