Choosing a college can be stressful…
Either there are too many to choose from or just the two you really like.
So, how do you decide?
My vote, the best way to decide is to go visit.
You have received countless amounts of postcards, e-mails, and phone calls from colleges. You might have done your own research on the internet. In some cases, you might have been advised personally to go to an alma mater of your relative or you have gone to your school counselor for advice. No matter the amount of sources you go to, they all say the same thing!
College visits give you details that you can’t get anywhere else.
So, now that you’ve decided to go visit, here are some things you should keep in mind:
Ask questions…keep in mind that you are going to be spending the majority of your time on campus when you are a student. Even if the question is about a small matter such as “Is there free printing?” or “What is the weather like here?” It’s okay to ask broad questions as well, such as asking your tour guide “Do you like being here?” or “How did you meet your friends here?” Your tour guide will be happy to answer to any questions you have and if they don’t feel qualified to answer your questions honestly, they will direct you to someone who can. Now, what if you can’t think of any questions to ask?
Bring your parent/relative/guardian/someone older and wiser…I had no idea what to ask when I went to visit colleges. I had no inkling of what college life was like, so how could I? How could you ? By bringing someone older and wiser, you’ll be covered with the question scenario because they know the right things to ask. He or she will probably think of something you might not even consider questioning such as, “How is the food?” True story, my dad was the one to ask this question. I never even considered the food might not be to my liking because I’ve never had the problem before BUT my dad has. Life lesson learned. Take the advice from the people who have more experience than you.
Feel free to roam…don’t huddle in a group. If you’ve seen movies with tour guides or have been on a tour, then you know what I’m talking about. A group, of course, is acceptable. However, take the advantage of open space and walk around. When you go into the dorms, check out the bathrooms, the rooms, the hallways, the lounges. At the library? Peek into the computer labs. Look around the corner. The point is, the tour guide can only show you so much in that specified amount of time. Even at Benedictine University where you can see the whole campus in an hour, you will miss out on small idiosyncrasies that make the campus special (at least to me). You can make up for it by looking around and discovering the campus as much as you can. Go discover!
Prepare for the weather…while it would be a blessing to have a warm, sunny day for a tour, it is not always possible. The majority of the tour will be outside…and you will walking. Look up the weather and prepare for the cold, the heat, the rain or snow. Wear your walking shoes and prepare the hair for a windy day. Don’t let mother nature distract you from the tour.
PAY ATTENTION! The tour is not just for your parents. They are not the ones that will be attending this college. You will. Therefore, I advice you to take interest. Even if choosing a college is not necessarily your choice, you can get an idea of what the next couple years will be like for you. If the tour guide isn’t loud enough, then raise your hand, get his or her attention, and say that he or she needs to speak up. Not speaking up is an easy mistake a tour guide can make, and they won’t know unless you tell them.
So, come on by Benedictine University and check out our campus! Use these great new tips and get a feel for the Benedictine lifestyle. All of us hope to see you soon! 🙂