My Davidson
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My Davidson

Making the Most of Your Campus Visit

Arielle Germeus ’25 shares her expertise from a summer of interning with the Admission Office on how to make the most of your time on a campus visit.

Some of the 2022 Summer Admission Interns

This summer, I’ve interned with the Admission Office, giving tours and information sessions both virtually and in-person.

“Welcome to Davidson! We are so excited you are here! What questions do you have? What do you want to major in? What are you looking for in a school? What extracurriculars are you interested in? Do you play an instrument? What classes have you taken? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO AFTER COLLEGE?”

I know… it’s a lot. Do not feel like you have to have it all figured out. We understand that everyone is in a different place with the college application process. We also understand that an important part of the college application process is actually visiting the campuses, whether virtually or in-person. As a former college applicant who has visited campuses and is now a college tour guide, I’ve been on both sides of the college touring realm and want to provide you with tips and tools that can help you make the most of your campus visit to Davidson College.

The typical way that people visit colleges is by attending information sessions and going on campus tours. If that is the case for you as well, try to get the most out of your tour guide and engage with them, or try to find a tour guide with similar interests and connect with them after the tour.

As a tour guide, it’s great getting questions while on the tour because a.) it means that myself and the prospective students and families are going to have an engaging tour and b.) sometimes I forget things (I’m human, lol) and so it’s great to get some questions that help guide me while I’m guiding you!

If you have an interest in specific parts of college life, going on a tour is definitely the time to see how your interests can align with aspects of the college campus that you’re touring. When we get to specific places on campus, consider asking how your interests would relate. If the tour guide doesn’t know, ask them to direct you to someone who does.

Another way to make the most of your visit is to do research and prepare questions before visiting, especially when it comes to any academic interests or extracurriculars you’re especially interested in. Explore the college’s website before visiting so that you can curate a list of questions to ask. And even if you don’t research the specific college you’re going to beforehand, having some general questions is great!

Finally, let’s say you’ve done the information session and tour. There are lots more ways to take advantage of the other parts of campus. Grab a campus map from the Admission Office, and go on a self-guided tour to explore parts of campus that you want to see beyond the standard tour.

For example while at Davidson, if you are particularly interested in business, innovation and entrepreneurship, be sure to check out the Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Almost all of the offices around campus are open so families can go in and try to speak to someone to know more about the different resources that Davidson has on campus. For example, if community service is your thing, check out the Center for Civic Engagement on the top floor of the Alvarez College Union. Our Matthews Center for Career Development advisors can talk about the numerous resources they offer regarding internships and different programming throughout the year.

Not directly on campus but right next to it is Main Street. On Main Street, there are lots of local businesses. In fact, there are only two chain stores on all of Main Street — CVS and Ben and Jerry’s! While strolling through town, visit the college bookstore and grab some Davidson swag, or grab a bite to eat at the various restaurants that are located on Main Street. Learn more about the area surrounding Davidson’s campus.

I will end with this: the best way to understand what it would be like being a student on campus is to actually reach out to students to gain their perspective. Say you are a senior who has narrowed down your search to two schools, and you just don’t know which is the best fit. Reach out to students from those schools! They will be your peers who you will interact with on a daily basis; and even better, they know all of the ins and outs of campus life and can provide a full perspective. Reaching out to Davidson students would be another really great way to make the most out of your campus visit at Davidson.

The college search process is stressful, but taking advantage of the resources that colleges have for prospective students can help immensely. I hope that you found some of these tips useful. Good luck, college applicants!

Schedule a visit to Davidson College at davidson.edu/visit.

About the author: Arielle Germeus ’25 is an intended Genomics major and Africana Studies minor on the premedicine track from Miami, Florida.

In the author’s own words: “I am a Posse Scholar and I had actually never heard of Davidson until starting the Posse Foundation Scholarship application process. To me, what set Davidson apart from the other schools partnered with Posse was its Honor Code. The Honor Code is not only about expecting your peers to hold themselves accountable, but also holding yourself accountable. Accountability is an extremely important characteristic to have, especially in a time and space where we’re just starting adulthood. From my research on Davidson and reaching out to the current students, I realized that Davidson also places a lot of value on community, and it was clear that you would be able to find your community during your time here. The research opportunities offered through Davidson also caught my attention. Davidson seemed to offer a lot of career development opportunities and resources that helped students explore. I was definitely looking forward to using the resources Davidson offered. When finally stepping on campus I loved that even though Davidson is a small school, it felt big enough to me. And that’s what mattered.”

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