Guiding You To Your Future With Ten Ways to The Perfect College Tour

Abby Schindel, Managing Feature Editor

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As students finally settle in for the school year, the question of colleges comes up for many juniors and seniors, along with the task of college tours.

“A college tour gives you a three-dimensional feel for the school, whereas a brochure does not. You get a ‘feel’ not only of the campus but the area around it” said Garry Allen, a college counselor at “College Funding & Consulting” in Apple Valley, MN.

College tours can be intimidating, and you want to make the most out of your tour. For your convenience, here is a list of the top ten ways to a perfect college tour, not in any particular order.

Number 1: Be early. The worst first impression you can make is being late to your college tour. Before the tour, guides often socialize with students and families, which gives you a chance to ask questions and talk to your guide. Get to know them, where they came from and what they are majoring in. Just don’t be late.

Number 2: Dress for the weather. Being too cold or too warm can drastically affect your mood and your desire to actually be on the tour in the first place. Wearing layers is the best solution. Tours often start in the morning and, as the day goes on, it gets warmer outside. With layers, if you get too hot, you can take layers off. If the weather takes a large change with rain or snow, more layers will keep you warm.

Number 3: Wear your walking shoes. Nothing is worse than having your feet hurt in the middle of a college tour. Campuses are big, and guides often want to show you as much of the campus as possible during the few hours you are with them. No matter the size of the school, you are doing a large amount of walking. With bad shoes and as your feet start to hurt, your walking slows and your mood can worsen.

Number 4: Ask a lot of questions. Guides will provide students with lots of information during the tour, but often it is generalized for everyone. To get answers and information that is important to you, you are going to have to ask questions. Make a list before your first tour and use that same list during every tour so you can compare answers when decision day comes around. Along with that, ask many more impromptu questions. If your guide says something and you want them to elaborate on, ask them. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that.

Number 5: Do light research on the college beforehand. Before the tour, knowing basic information about the college can help you and your guide get right to the deeper things about the college. Research size, majors, and more beforehand. Doing so can also help you think of questions to ask during the tour.

Number 6: Take notes and pictures. It is hard to remember comments and answers without writing it down. Writing down short sentences or phrases for questions and comments can help when it comes to decision time. Along with that, if you see something you like, take pictures of it. You can take pictures practically anywhere on campus, so take advantage of that.

Number 7: Pack a backpack with anything you might need. Have a water bottle, notebook and anything else you might need. Something might happen where you need something that you don’t have, making the tour less enjoyable. You know what you might need, so pack it and go prepared.

Number 8: Reflect on the tour as soon as possible afterwards. Whether it’s writing down thoughts or talking about it with someone, reflecting on the tour within a day or two can help you decide what you liked and disliked about the tour. Using notes and pictures, recall everything and anything about the tour. Go place by place and try to remember anything; it might be useful to your future college decisions

Number 9: Sit around campus after your tour. During your tour you will get a feel for what basic campus life is like, but being able to sit on campus and just watch the world go by will give you a greater feel for life at the college. Getting lunch on campus is the best way to see students in their lives. You can also walk or sit around campus and just people watch. Just get more of a feel for what campus life is like outside of your tour.

Number 10: Make the most out of your time on campus and during the tour. You are going to the college because it is a possible future for you. Don’t go on a tour and just follow. Ask questions, get involved and make connections with people. Going on the tour is for you, so make the most of it. It could be your new home later on.

College tours can be scary, but they can also be really exciting. They help you imagine what life would be like on campus and after high school. Campus visits are the best way to see a college, and having a cheat sheet to make the most out of it makes it so much easier. So get out there and starting thinking about life after high school, no matter how scary that is.


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