Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

It’s that time of year (I’m a tour guide, I know). It’s the time when thousands of prospective and admitted students flood college campuses, wide-eyed and hopeful for a future acceptance letter or a future home. They come in ready to learn about the college, but are you guys really ready for it? How do you truly take advantage of your college tours? I’ll give you some tips.

1. Ask ANYTHING You Want to Know About

One thing students do not take advantage of for sure is asking questions during the tour. Though you may not have questions right then and there, you might have some later, so be sure to ask the tour guide for contact information if you think you might have questions. However, be sure to ask any questions you may have as soon as possible. Tour guides give opportunities for questions after every section and they throw a lot of information at you in an hour, so do take advantage of these. Tour guides are the school’s representative so they do know everything there is to know (or have the means to find out), so ask any questions you have. We have some important question suggestions, but important topics to ask about are academic life/stress, Greek life/other social life, and other activities you want to get involved in on campus.

2. Write Stuff Down

You don’t have to be taking detailed notes on everything they say, but do take notes and write down stuff you think is important, or things you have questions on/might have questions on later.  You can write these on your phone and refer to it when you’re picking colleges or when you’re asking questions to your tour guide. After your tour, write down stuff you liked and disliked to get more out of your tour. This will help you get an immediate evaluation of the school instead of a delayed one, because you won’t remember everything later.

3. Ask Your Tour Guide What to Do After the Tour 

Okay, you’ve seen the campus, but do you really know what it’s like to be a student here yet? The best way to do that will be to sit in on classes (which you can arrange before the tour, but the office should also have some idea about how you can do this) and try to do what students do, whether it’s eating at the dining hall or sitting outside enjoying the day. Take some time to explore campus by yourself, as if this is your future home, you will want to know what it’s like.

4. Learn about the Transition Process

Something prospies do not understand is that the transition between high school and college is really hard. However, schools do have processes in place to help people with this transition. Be sure to ask your tour guide about these so you can learn how to adjust to be a college student at your specific campus.

The most important thing about your tour is that you need to take full advantage of it by asking as many questions as you can. Ask about anything, because tour guides are really there to help you, so don’t worry about sounding inept, because you’re not. Be sure to ask as many questions as possible!

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the author

Jasmine is a senior at a public high school in Virginia and a magnet program focusing on math and science. When she’s not worrying about how the cells for her research project won’t grow or doing homework, she enjoys volunteering at a clinic, tutoring, working on spreads for yearbook, helping in science outreach, and fundraising for science. After all of this, she revels in eating frozen yogurt, watching movies, obsessing over Gossip Girl, and going out with friends.

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