Testing out the Waters: College Visits

Nnaemeka Obidinma, Webmaster

For many students, college is right around the corner. It’s no longer an idealistic dream, but rather a reality. Still, those accepted still have to finish an abundance of things before moving in during the fall, including college visits.

College visits have always been imperative to the college decision process. During the fall, many students take trips to go see what life is like at their prospective schools. As aforementioned in this article, it’s absolutely crucial for one to do this. Doing so allows the student to see what schools are really like, and may change one’s outlook on places to apply to (For example, in this article, I had changed my views on Mary Washington and UVA, and I ended up accepting James Madison University’s offer).

It is also a good idea to visit your school to see where important spots on campus are located, for example, the residence building. In addition, it would be an smart move to see where classes are located as well, in order to feel comfortable when the first week of classes rolls around. That way, the issue of rushing around during the first week of semester, trying to find out where all of their classes are, is prevented.

Going on college visits over the summer lets you see schools at your own pace. “My summer tour experience was really meaningful. Without so many people, I was able to experience more for myself,” senior Ally Temple said, recalling her visit to the school she will be attending, Penn State University. “My summer visit is one of the main reasons why Penn State became my number one school; it felt just like home to me.”

Of course, this isn’t limited to only seniors! Juniors can participate in the visiting process as well, to start getting ideas of which schools they could see themselves attending. “Find out what you like, be curious, and get ready to make new experiences,” junior Laura Kelly said. She visited the University of Maryland on April 14th. “Be optimistic, don’t be afraid to ask questions and search for answers.” A lot of schools have programs for the summer for rising seniors, so don’t be afraid to participate in them! They may even offer scholarships for attending the summer programs, so it’s best not to delay and take that chance.

As for freshmen and sophomores, there’s still a long way to go until you have to make these big decisions. Don’t blink, however, because that time goes by so fast and it will be senior year before you know it. In the meantime, try to excel in classes and find some extracurriculars to join. Start thinking about what your passion is, and spend some time searching for colleges that may just so happen to fit your mold, instead of the molds they provide. In just a moment’s time, the future will transition into the present, so make it your own.