You did it! Not only have you received acceptance into college (way to go!) you have actual choices for where to go! But wait! How in the world are you supposed to decide between schools when you didn’t really believe you were getting in anywhere until a week ago.

My dear seniors, welcome to admitted students day.

Movies have trailers, videogames have demos, and colleges have admitted students day.

You’ve impressed them, they’ve offered you admission, and now it’s their chance to impress you. But how are you supposed to make an informed decision with only 6 or so hours on the campus? Well, here’s how to get the most out of your admitted student’s experience:

1. If you haven’t toured, make sure you do that first.

See the campus, see a dorm room, and see how they’re selling themselves. Make sure you can really see yourself spending the next four years on that campus.

Image from Dreams Time.

Image from Dreams Time.

2. Attend panels and info sessions.

Admitted students days are packed to the gills with different info sessions. They want to give you as much information as they can about as many different aspects of the school. Make sure you attend something offered about 1) student life and 2) your (potential) department.

Student life panels are going to discuss everything from academics to housing and more. Many schools will have this panel run by actual students as opposed to admissions staff, and they’re likely to be candid with you. Attending sessions in your potential department is a great way to meet some of your potential professors and classmates, as well as a way to find out a bit more about the program.

3. Attend the club fair.

Most schools provide a mini club fair for the prospective students. When schools say they have 200 clubs, they mean it. Take a walk around and talk to the students at the tables for the clubs you might be interested in. This is a great way to talk to actual students because you’re bound to have something in common with them.

4. Be prepared to do a lot of talking at admitted students day.

Come armed with a smile and a million questions. At my school I work as a “chatter” at admitted students day every year. My job is to stand outside any place where there might be a line (last year I was at financial aid) and talk to the prospective students about their questions and my experience.

I had a lot of fun talking with the prospies (lingo for prospective students), and I even recognized some of them in the fall. Some of these newly minted college students? There was the girl whom I talked about summer storage with (and the out-of-state culture shock), the boy who started a conversation about Greek Life that ended up with us geeking out over Legend of Korra, and the girl who was fascinated by my awesome rain boots (they’re blue and look like cowboy boots). Speaking of rain boots…

5. …Make sure you’re prepared to be outside and do a lot of walking.

Comfortable shoes and an umbrella are a must.

6. Bring an open mind.

Be ready to absorb everything you can about the school. If it wasn’t your first choice, still give it a fighting chance. You may find that a conversation you have with a professor, a student, or a staff member might make all the difference in your final decisions.

7. And finally: Enjoy yourself! It’s the school’s turn to impress you.

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the author

Jillian is better known by her pseudonym “CollegeApp Chick", which is half college application blog and half small private college advising business. She’s currently studying Psychology and Religious Studies at a small public school south of the Mason Dixon line. When not advising, studying, or blogging Jillian is an active member of the Shakespeare theatre club, sandbox improv, women’s chorus, and is an officer in a social sorority. She likes to talk, a lot. Most importantly, Jillian wears dresses more than 250 days a year. For more of Jillian’s tips, find her at her website or her Tumblr.

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