Whether you’ve been diligently working on your college applications or pretending that application deadlines are still months away, consider a break and take a day to visit a nearby college campus.
A few pointers:
1. Stay local. For your initial college visit, you don’t need to plan a whole cross-country trip. Even if the closest college isn’t one you are planning to apply to, you’ll still gain perspective and maybe the motivation to start your essay writing.
2. Take a tour. The admissions office is an excellent place to start. Take a campus tour (led by a current student, in almost all cases), and meet individually or in a group setting with a member of the admissions staff. After a few hours, you’ll have the lowdown on the admissions process and the layout of the major campus landmarks.
3. Picture yourself as a student. While you are on campus, look for large lecture halls and small classrooms. Take a seat and see how you feel. Find current students and ask about their likes and dislikes. See how big the campus really is. I once had a friend who happily requested a residence hall overlooking the campus golf course. It wasn’t until he arrived on campus that he realized the golf course was: a) covered in snow 6+ months of the year and b) a solid 15 minute walk from the engineering quad where he was taking his classes. Take a walk around the surrounding area. Are you able to find a variety of things to do and places to go?
4. Collect your thoughts. When you complete your visit, spend some time collecting your impressions, both positive and negative. As you visit other campuses, revisit your initial list and compare your reactions.
Now that your break is over, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get back to work on those applications! Check out our services section to find out how an Accepted admissions expert can help you apply successfully to your dream schools!