Impressions are Worth a Thousand WordsAug 16, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
I like to believe just like when you meet the man of your dreams that when you find the right college you will just know. You will get that feeling inside of you that says this is where I belong. Now that is a bit idealistic and I definately was worried I was wrong when i started visiting my top choice schools, because every school I visited seemed nice to me. I finally found one school that I really disliked, so I knew that at least I wasn't going to like everywhere. I still had not got that feeling though, until the day I stepped onto my current campus at Hartwick College. It was so beautiful and everything just felt right and it turned out to be the perfect choice for my next four years.
However, as important as that momentary feeling of perfection is, there are other things that I think students visiting their schools should consider. Here are a few pointers about Campus Visits:
*Get at the front of your tour group right next to your tour guide. The tour guides are students who are a great source of information. Yes- they do have factual mumbo-jumbo to spit out at you but beleive me they would rather you ask them real questions and they will get a chance to really talk about the school. There is always the chance you'll get a big dud- someone who is nothing like you and might not have the answers you want, but in general if you ask they will tell you the truth. If you want to know about partying or bars or greek life, then ask. If you want to know which dorms are the best or what the food is really like, then ask. Being shy and being at the back of the tour will give you no answers.
*Do an overnight stay- I didn't do one but from my experience everyone at my school who does finds out the truth and is either enticed beyond belief to come here or is repulsed to even get within a 30 mile radius. There is always the chance of staying with a student who is your exact opposite, so in this case do what my cousin did...find someone who you want to hang out with. Make friends who are more like you. It will give you a chance to explore your schools even deeper and give you more to base your decision on in the end. If you have two or three schools youc an't decide between this is the fool-proof way to make a decision.
*Talk to professors- meet some of the professors for you department of interest. If you don't like them now, you really won't like them when you have to take classes and get grades from them!
*Eat or visit the cafeteria- schools often fool you with a special lunch on campus visits in a different location. I definately was served fabulous food in the gym, but I've learned since the Commons is not quite the same. When you walk through ask the students eating there what they think- trust me you'll get an honest answer! College students love to talk about what they hate especially if it's the food.
*Visit a dorm room- see what you're getting yourself into!
These are just a few pointers...hope they help you make the right decision.
Oh one more thing(this is for the students): Get out of ear range of your parents at some point either on the tour or when talking to students at the school and ask the questions you really want the answers to: about social life, partying, greek life, drugs, alcohol, etc. Parents you may be mad they are asking, but this is a big part of college and choosing a school that doesn't socially fit you will make for a miserable time.
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