College Visits: Tips for this Summer

by Veronica Vasquez, Round Lake High School '17

Hello everyone, my name is Veronica and I am a junior scholar at Round Lake High School. I’ve recently been on the junior spring break college trips where we visited 10 colleges in the span of 5 days (2 colleges per day) in Massachusetts and Connecticut. I want to share with you a bit about my experience and tips for your next college visit.

1: Take notes
For the most part, we attended an info session, went on a tour, and got to eat a meal at every college we visited. Something I learned from the college trips is that is very important to take notes to refer back to because colleges will start to blur together if you don’t write down what you liked and didn’t like. The info session will usually be led by a dean or admissions officer and include everything regarding academics, admission requirements, and financial aid packages. Tours, however, will typically be led by students and will cover the social, living, and community aspects of a college. Although no one student will represent the college as a whole, your tour guide’s attitude towards their own experiences will have an effect on how you perceive the school you’re visiting.

2: Do your research
Knowing some of your interests before going on college trips can really be beneficial because then you can ask about them when you visit in person. You don’t have to know what your dream school has to have, but you should have an idea of some things you want it to include. Be sure to ask questions, and don’t be afraid to expose your own interests in doing so. If you want to know how much the school gets involved in its sports, then ask about it. But do make sure you do your research before-hand since many of your questions can probably be answered by the school’s website.

3: Explore
Make sure you pay attention to the vibe you get when you visit a school. Do you feel welcome there? Can you see yourself studying in a comfortable environment? Are the students who go there the kind of people you want to surround yourself with? These are the questions that the college’s website can’t answer for you, but questions you can explore yourself to ensure when you do make the ultimate choice, you can feel good knowing you’ve made a thorough decision. Some personal traits I looked at in a school were its diversity, the housing choices over the four years and how big the school was on social activism.

On my college trips, I only really liked the first school we visited and some people walked away not really feeling geared towards any of the colleges, and that’s okay. Even if none of the colleges really ignited a spark inside you, college visits are still extremely beneficial in helping you learn what you like and don’t like.


Popular Posts