By Jocelyn Donaldson
It’s time seniors! With graduation fast approaching, it’s time to finish up the college search and get into the application process if you haven’t already. Maybe you’re like me, who spent many tiring days of your summer driving long distances to colleges you think might possibly be the one for you. Sure, you have your own opinions on the schools you’ve visited, but what are your peers thinking when they visit colleges?
Interviewed seniors mentioned visiting a variety of different schools. When looking to set up a college visit, it was determined that “the area, whether or not the college has the right major, and the friends going there” are some of the most important factors to students.Here are some specific responses to the colleges students have visited:
Temple: The first thing people said when asked about Temple was their beautiful campus. They even have a 7 Eleven on campus, along with a bank, an Inn for the parents, and food trucks cover every street so you won’t ever run out of new places to try. However, many mentioned that “the area surrounding Temple affects their final opinion of the college”. One person even mentioned that her father “was almost mugged at a gas station in the area surrounding Temple and that is why she won’t be going there for a visit”. But wait-don’t take Temple out of the running yet, because when I visited there was security everywhere. I saw at least 20 security guards in the two hours I was there. Also, those security guards were according to the guide, “put through the same training as a cop would go through”, so you know they are legit.
Moravian: When I went to an open house, the people were really welcoming. There were literally people standing on every corner to direct us where to go, and that’s impressive considering it was below thirty degrees when I visited. Everyone interviewed also mentioned they loved the campus. “They’re campus is really small, but I think that’s why I liked it so much.” A smaller school mean s smaller classes and it really shows in this school. At the open house, we actually got to sit down and talk with some of the professors and a handful of students that were currently being taught by them.
However, just because you decided to visit a college doesn’t mean you’re already sold on that college. College visits are there for the purpose of helping you decide. When you visit a college, you tend to make a mental pro and cons list without even realizing it. The people interviewed seemed to have similar opinions on what makes a college visit a “good” one.
Apparently, “the tour guide” is one of the most important aspects of a college visit. It’s understandable considering they are one of a handful of people who truly represent that college. If they are a freshmen who doesn’t truly understand how the college works yet, then the person touring the college doesn’t get the full image of the college. “If they aren’t friendly, then the college doesn’t seem inviting.” However, if the person is outgoing, then the college is more appealing. If you relate to the guide, then you feel you relate to that school. It’s all about first impressions in college visits.
Normally before the tour of the campus, there is an information session of some sort. A representative of that college, normally from the admissions office, talks about anything and everything about that college. This is honestly where a college becomes interesting or is thrown out of the search. If you have visited colleges before, you know what i’m talking about. If not, just imagine a nervous representative of that college standing in front of a group of prospective students, stuttering through their speech in a monotone voice for over an hour. One person interviewed even mentioned how “she was forced to play a 40 minute game of jeopardy on all the facts of the college”. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the joyous representatives that manage to present the information without putting us to sleep. Depending on how the presentations go, some even admit to “leaving early”.
Even if you can’t make it to visits, whether it be for lack of time or ride, there’s still hope. Salisbury happens to have representatives come to our school and talk about their college. Don’t overlook this because it’s a great opportunity to learn more about a school and ask questions about a college. If you have any questions about which colleges are visiting and when, there is a list outside of guidance.
In the end, college visits are something you have to do. It gives you a feel for that college. It’s an opportunity to learn everything you need to know about a college before making a final decision. So seniors-Don’t wait any longer. Start or finish up your college visits because applications are right around the corner. Good luck!