I would definitely recommend visiting CUA before determining which school you want to go to. Being on campus can have a completely different feel than just looking at pictures or hearing about the school from others. This goes for every other school as well! I personally visited about twelve schools and even visited Catholic three times before starting my college career here.
The first time I visited CUA was in February of my junior year of high school as a young teenager, in denial that I would be going to college in a little more than a year. I went on a “college tour” with my mom visiting schools on the East Coast from North Carolina all the way to Baltimore. We came to Catholic’s campus in the afternoon one day and took a tour with a Student Ambassador. We then met with the Head Coach for the Mens Soccer Team, Travis Beauchamp, who would eventually become my collegiate soccer coach. I loved the fact that CUA has a separate campus from the city with green lawns and trees where other city schools are directly in the city without a sense of privacy or quiet which I am comfortable with. We walked around the campus, through the library, and even ventured up to the soccer field with coach. It didn’t hurt that you could almost always see the gorgeous Basilica of the National Shrine in the distance no matter where you were on campus. I left with a great first impression of the school, and I knew it was definitely one of my top choices.
Then later that year I came back during September of my Senior Year. This was mainly a soccer visit, as I was doing an official overnight visit. I watched the team practice, and then spent the rest of the evening with the team going to the football game and hanging out. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with the team and meeting some other students here. I realized that I got along very well with all of the guys and most of the other people I met on campus, which is very important.
The third time I came to campus was for Odyssey Day. This is a day in the Spring where CUA invites all accepted students to come for a day and tour the school and meet with the departments of the school to learn more about the University. By this time I had already committed to the soccer team and the University. I still came to meet my future professors and learn more about studying at CUA. Later that night the University puts on an “Honors Overnight.” This is held in the evening where the students accepted into the University Honors Program can spend the night with current Honors students. I spent the night with LJ who was a drama major and from Florida. We played ice breakers with other CUA students and met other prospective students. This also helped me see another side of the University and I was reaffirmed in my choice of schools. I knew I would be living in the Honors dorm my freshman year, so I enjoyed getting to see how the students lived for a night. I would one hundred percent recommend coming to Odyssey Day and if possible the Honors Overnight. These are times where a prospective student can see what it is really like at CUA and get to know even more of the students.
Visiting your top schools, I think, is a must. It gives you the chance to see where and how you will be living for the next few years of your life. College is a huge decision, and visiting CUA can help you feel much more confident in your choice. In a way visiting schools is like trying on different pairs of shoes, and you just have the pick the one that is the most comfortable!