7 things to think about on a college visit
. I remember taking my first couple of college visits and I didn’t know what to think and let alone what to actually look for. My dad and I would go on a tour, look at the dorms, say this place looks cool (or doesn’t), grab some pamphlets/info about the school we were at and then head home. This was plenty fine for me as I knew I was going to college for sports, so it was pretty much whichever school said “yeah you can play here” I was going. Now, this isn’t the case for many of you reading or maybe it is, but still I wish I would’ve taken these 7 things into consideration before choosing my college for the next 4 years (or more) of my life! So let’s jump right into the 7 things to think about on a college visit.
. This is the biggest, most important aspect in college that you really need to pay attention to. If a college doesn’t have good food then you’re going to hate it! A Little bit more of my own personal experience really quick.
. While on a tour of a college recruiting me for volleyball we went to lunch with the coach in the cafeteria, and the only thing they had was some old grungy looking meat loaf, corn and barely-warm bread! I know scary. But this showed me that there is no way in hell I’m ever going to stay at this school because I’d lose weight from not eating. So the moral is try the food before you leave the college you’re touring, and ask some students around you what they really feel about the food (we are brutally honest when it comes to food).
. If you’re going to be living on campus this is definitely the second most important thing you will want to think about, if you’re commuting go ahead and skip to number 3. Dorms will either be really really amazing or they will just plain suck, I really do mean this. Make sure you check and see if the freshman dorms have A/C because most of the time they don’t, and check to see how nice the upperclassmen dorms are.
. You’ll want to check the upperclassmen dorms out too because if you do decide to go to that school you’re going to want to know every possible place you could be living. Some schools, mostly private, will have incredible dorms (shout out to Stevenson University) and public schools will be very mediocre at best. Another thing to look at while touring the dormitory is the mattress and overall setup of the room. Make sure it’s something that looks comfortable and you can see yourself in. If it makes you happy then you’ve got a winner on thing 2 you need to look for!
. Pay attention to the people on your campus visit too. Ask some questions to students and staff. You want to be able to get a general feeling of the school itself. Some questions to ask yourself after your visit are — were the students nice? was staff responsive to questions? was everyone pretty friendly?
. Those questions will help you determine if this campus is a good fit for you because nobody wants to go to school where nobody talks to you and nobody is friendly.
. Knowing the majors a college offers is a HUGE part of your experience and will help choose between the colleges you’ve narrowed your choices to. Make sure to grab as much info as you can from the admissions department so that you can refer back to it if you have questions, admissions people are also very nice so don’t be afraid to ever call them if you have specific questions later on!
. Majors might scare you at first when you’re pouring through multiple admissions pamphlets at a time but there are plenty of resources online to help you, I’ll be writing a blog next week about choosing your major! Until then just try and look at the majors objectively thinking what you can see yourself doing in the future; if you want to be a doctor don’t choice a liberal arts school, you want to be a teacher don’t go to a school who offers mainly science courses, pretty much just don’t choose a school that will not have the resources to put you where you want to be after you graduate college.
5. CLASS SIZE
. A general rule to keep in mind is bigger schools have bigger class sizes and smaller schools have smaller class sizes. This may not affect you but if you want a more personal relationship with your professor where they seem to actually care if you pass then you should opt for a smaller class size school, this has really helped me learn better and gain better experiences in college classes. If you’re someone who just wants to show up to class and leave, probably never have a relationship with your professor then a bigger class size is perfect.
. My experience in a smaller private school has been amazing. My professors know my name, what my interest are and even came to a couple of my games. That would never happen at a big school, ever! With that, my professors have pointed me in direction of potential internships and jobs which would also never happen at a bigger school. If you happen to know someone with a different experience at a bigger college I’d love to hear their input but I think you get a more meaningful relationship and better education at a smaller school.
. Extracurricular activities are where the real fun comes in college unless you’re the party type. This is how you can get popular on campus and become involved. Going to events on campus, football/basketball/other sports games, joining clubs, maybe join a fraternity or sorority, and many other activities college offer. Again I have been blessed that my university puts on many events and really thrives from our campus community.
. You’re going to want to find a school that has a lot of clubs and a school that is open to new clubs, because who knows maybe you want to start a club that interest you. Many schools do have great activities on campus but try and find the one that seems to have the coolest ones. I think you get that right? Just go to a school with cool events and you’ll be happy!
. Now location isn’t the end all be all when it comes to choosing a school but it could impact your decision slightly. When I’m talking about a location I mean what is around the campus and where it resides.
. Make sure that there are things to actually do away from school. You don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but stay on campus. For example, I visited this one school in Washington D.C. and there was a TON of stuff to do! The campus I visited in West Virginia though was the opposite, the coolest thing was the Walmart 15 minutes away. You think I’m kidding during my overnight we literally went to the Walmart, weird right?!?
. Basically, go to a school where you can go do things other than stay on campus it will be so much more fun for you.
. Well, this wraps up the “7 things to think about on a college visit” post. I know it was pretty lengthy but trust me I wish someone gave me this advice when traveling from campus to campus! If this did help you please share with others on social media and tag me or leave a comment below!
. — Johnny K.
. @jkimenhour96 (twitter/instagram)