Short post today. With college discovery days and campus visits kicking into high gear, I thought I would share some of what I look for when visiting a college.
1. Do they have my major
I blatantly refuse to entertain the idea of going to a school that does not have the major I am interested in. There is no point in giving up a dream just to go to a “perfect” school. If it doesn’t have what you want, it’s not perfect.
2. Size of campus
Is the campus manageable for walking around? Will I be able to complete a walking tour? How far are the dorms from the cafeteria and the classrooms? Is there on campus transportation available?
3. The Environment
Being on campus, you can get a feel for the energy of the place, and see if it’s somewhere you would thrive. Some schools are high stress, some are really collaborative, and others are more laid back. You probably have an idea of which conditions you would do best under, so part of this is just going with that gut feeling. Always trust it. If you’re all about school spirit, try adding a sports game to your visit to get a sense of the crowd and what it would be like to be a fan.
Food is important; and anyone who tells you it isn’t is lying. Making sure that you have the right options when it comes to making healthy choices is important. But here’s another question you should ask: is the food good? Your parents can only fit so much in a care package, and as a college student you probably won’t have the means to go to the grocery store for everything you need or to eat out all the time.
5. The Disability Department
Different schools have different names for it, but you know what it is. And if you’re like me and going into school with chronic illness or mobility issues, talking to the disability department is of the utmost importance. The last thing you want to do is land at a school that isn’t willing to give you the accommodations you need to thrive. Stop by and ask to speak to a representative, most schools have people available for big visit days, but for a smaller weekly visit try calling ahead to schedule meeting!
More on the college application process and visitation day reviews coming soon!