What to do on a college visit?

by Judge Josh on November 21, 2014

Hey Judge Josh,

I’ve read your book and it has helped me a lot!

Awesome !  Comments like this are the reason I write the books.  Glad you enjoyed it!

But my question has nothing to do with the never ending quest for money, it has to do with college visits. I really can’t get any more specific than this, so here we go: What should one do/avoid doing at a college campus visit? I’m going to see the campus of my first choice school in a few weeks so I want to make a good impression, and I would really appreciate it if you could give me a few pointers.

Thank you so much

Absolutely.  Some people think campus visits are important, and some, not so much.  It sort of depends on your personality type.  If you really care about your surroundings and how you “fit in”, then it’s always advisable to take a visit first.  If you are more focused on then end result (tunnel vision on the degree at the end), then maybe it’s not as important to you.

But if you DO take a visit – and I generally advise that you do – there are a few things that you should be sure to do in order to get the most of your visit.

First, the obvious things – take a campus tour with a tour guide, visiting all of the facilities to get a good feel of where you might be spending most of your waking hours over the next 4-5 years.  Eat at one of the dining halls.  Take a close look at the dorms (if you plan to live in one).  If they will allow it, take in a workout at the rec center.  Sit in on a class that you believe you will be taking if you choose that school.

Those are all things that sort of come right to the front of your mind when you think about a campus visit.  But you can also do even more to get a real feel of the layout.  Go to the career center and talk to an advisor there.  Hang out at the commons just to see what the people are like.  If you’re going to be there over night, maybe check out some of the night life near campus (all work & no play for 4-5 years will make you a very dull boy, as they say).

Take the opportunity to network.  Talk to students, if you can.  There will be current students willing to talk, as well as other incoming prospects.  Meet anyone & everyone, and get their contact information if you can (not in a creepy, stalker, “hey baby, can I have your number” type of way either – this is all about the business).

Finally – do some research before you take your visit.  Research the school, the town, the state – and everything in between.  Also, and you have done this by asking me, but there are other ideas out there – do some additional research online about other things you might want to do on a campus visit.  Oh – and read below for advice from other students!

Pressure’s on you, Outlaw Student readers – what should she do on her campus visit?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Margie November 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm

It might also be worth checking out social media for a different look at the college you’ll be looking at. Many universities have Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and sometimes LinkedIn profiles. My university has a fairly active subreddit (that’s on reddit.com if you’re not familiar with the term) where the majority of users are students and alumni. Just keep in mind that sometimes the Internet can be dark and full of weirdos but oftentimes it can be a really useful tool. Good luck!

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A. Give November 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

I definitely advise trying the cafeteria food! After all you need to eat to survive. That was definitely one of the deciding factors for we when it came down to narrowing down the schools. I had to look at all the nitty gritty details.

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Jo November 26, 2014 at 11:14 am

I know it might be silly but… ratemyprofessor.com??

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