College Visits

By Jocelyn Donaldson

If you’re a senior, then you know the pressure of trying to decide on a college before the deadline. The more colleges you apply to, the better chance you have of getting into at least one of the schools. However, you also might have more college acceptances, which means narrowing it down to only one will be even more difficult. I myself am stuck in between two colleges at the moment and can’t seem to make a decision. This is why I decided to attend the accepted students days in the first place so that I could hopefully make my decision somewhat easier. Accepted students days are sort of like a college open house. They vary depending on the college, but here is my experience with the two I visited.

First, I visited Ursinus. Originally, I thought the tour would further my confidence in choosing Moravian, which is the college I was mostly set on at the time. Moravian is closer to my family and not to mention considerably more affordable. I thought that visiting would only strengthen my decision, but of course that is the exact opposite of what my visit accomplished. Instead, I second guessed my decision and even started leaning more towards Ursinus, which brings me to my point. A college visit, while it’s supposed to be designed to help you decide, is also a way for the college to better persuade you towards that school. From the minute I arrived to the minute I left, everyone was very welcoming and friendly. I was completely comfortable in the environment, which is something you should look for when visiting a college. Accepted students days also tend to allow for you to meet with possible professors and get a better feel for the classes you may take. Ursinus had two sessions. When in these sessions, it’s important to pay close attention. If what they are saying bores you in any way, then you may not be passionate enough about the subject to actually take the classes. Also, it may be a sign that you’re not completely committed to that major and may want to take more diverse courses to better find your interests. I visited the pre-law session first, and was actively engaged and interested in the subject matter. However, I then went to the psychology session to see if I was interested and was entirely put off. When you have the opportunity to talk and ask professors questions, make sure to ask about clubs related to that major. In my case, I am looking to go for pre-law. Ursinus has a mock trial club which is a great way to find your interests in a more relaxed manor. Asking about past students and where they are now is important to see what kind of future success you can look forward to if you attend that college. If there are college students present, then ask them where they plan to go with their degree. Knowing your options is means a better informed decision. Visit both colleges and make a pros and cons list. Make sure to consider how each college’s curriculum matches up to the other and whether or not you felt comfortable at the college.

I also went to Moravian for their admitted students day. Theirs was set up slightly different than Ursinus. They had one session instead of two, no scheduled tour, but in place had bingo, and a “carnival”. Immediately after seeing the itinerary for the day, I knew the day would be more exciting than Ursinus. Bingo was a much needed break from the information overload that preceded it. The carnival wasn’t even a carnival, but instead more of a club and activities fair with two added bonuses. Due to upcoming finals, therapy dogs had been visiting and were all around, which in my book is pretty cool. They also had a giant inflatable ball that you could roll in and attempt to knock over oversized bowling pins. If the college does have an activities fair, then make sure to look carefully. Any clubs or activities that you’re even slightly interested in, take a flier and look into it. Overall, when visiting a college, just make sure to get a feel for the college. Worry most about whether or not you’re comfortable. Depending on the distance from home, whichever college it is may become your home for the next 4 years or so.
After they were both over, I have to admit that they were mostly equal and actually managed to make my decision even more difficult. Even now that i’m back to ground zero in choosing a college, I’m glad I attended both events. Although I’m even more stuck than before, I now at least have more information about both of the colleges, which means I can make a more well informed decision in the end. This is why if you’re stuck in your decision, you should keep visiting the colleges as much as possible. Getting a feel for each college is important and experiencing what it’s like beforehand is how you can spot the subtle differences that in all actuality make all the difference.

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