Things to Consider When Visiting a College Campus
Visiting a college campus can be a whirlwind event that can leave your head spinning. Not only can the process leave you with questions and concerns, but frankly, it can be a frightening and somewhat intimidating experience, especially when you don’t have much to compare it too in terms of similar events or college campuses. You may be left feeling uncertain about your decision or whether this is the right choice for your academic future. It is therefore a good idea to go in having considered certain characteristics or amenities that you would prefer in your college and college experience so that you can compare the various campuses you visit to one another as well as to the requirements that you’ve outlined.
Size & Location
One of the most important considerations when contemplating whether a college is right for you might be its size and location. Ask yourself if you want a large school or a more intimate setting. A larger school may offer a wider variety of educational options when it comes to available majors and courses, as well as the notoriety that often comes with larger schools. Meanwhile, a smaller school may provide more intimate class sizes and a more specialized or focused curriculum.
It is also important to consider whether you would prefer an urban environment, a school in or near a smaller city or town, or one set further from town in a more secluded area? A school’s location can affect safety issues and determine how easy it is to get to and from class and various extra-curricular activities. A school’s geographic location will also affect what type of weather you will encounter, and this can be critical for someone who prefers a certain type of climate.
Transportation might not seem like a critical factor in choosing your school until you arrive and find yourself struggling through the snows of winter or suffering though the summer sauna. Student bus routes, availability of parking, and the costs of such luxuries can all be important considerations when visiting a college campus. When you are walking around campus, keep an eye out for available buses and watch to see how often they pass. Try to pick up a map of bus routes and one of student parking lots if you plan to have a car at school. Knowing an approximation of available student parking passes, pricing, and whether there is a waitlist for these passes can also be important.
Sure, the campus tour with that preppy student guide was nice, and it highlighted the major attractions and strong points of the school, but tours provided by the school often show you what the college or university wants you to see. It certainly doesn’t behoove them to show you cramped dorm rooms, crumbling or uncared for student facilities, the meter readers handing out parking tickets to cars in overcrowded parking lots, and students walking a mile and a half to class. It can therefore be a good idea to take a tour of your own, exploring the campus without the distraction of someone else guiding your eye to what the school wants you to see or putting their own spin on things.
It can be important to pay attention to your gut reaction to the campus while you are there as well as after you have left. Do you like the campus? Did you feel comfortable there? Was the architecture and layout appealing? Did the students look like they were having a good time and enjoying themselves or just straggling to class in a daze? These might seem like minor considerations, but part of being successful at school is enjoying your atmosphere and finding it a pleasurable environment for both work and play.
This article is for informational purposes only. The author is not an educational professional or academic advisor. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.