As a prospective college student, I toured close to 30 universities, so I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert on campus visits. Here are the most important things I learned about making the most of a campus visit:
- Schedule a formal campus tour with the Office of Admission! Walking around a campus on your own can be great, but talking to a current student will give you a whole new perspective. Plus, you will be able to learn so many interesting facts that you wouldn’t have known otherwise. Without touring Catholic U, you probably wouldn’t know that the Statue of Liberty can fit inside our beautiful Basilica with 5ft. to spare!
- When you are walking around campus, especially in the student center, take a moment to look at the flyers hanging on the bulletin boards. You will be able to get a sense of what is important to students based on the events that are advertised.
- Take time to explore the neighborhood around the university. Try to eat a meal at a local restaurant (and not one of the chain ones like Chick-fil-A or Chipotle). You’ll be able to see where students spend time when they aren’t on campus. When visiting Catholic U, check out Brookland Pint, Fox Loves Taco, or Menomale!
- If you are visiting a university when school is not in session, picture what the school looks like with students walking around. Ask your tour guide about popular places to spend time on campus and where students usually do homework. Campuses have a completely different atmosphere when students are there, so don’t think a school is “boring” just because it seems quiet in July.
- Be open-minded! Even if you are visiting a school because your mom told you to, it’s important to give each university a fair shot. Ask any questions that you might have, take the time to really look around the school, and don’t go into a campus visit expecting to not like the school. Some universities may surprise you!
There are hundreds of campuses all across the country, each with its own environment, atmosphere, and student body. Touring campuses is one of the most important aspects of your college search, so make the most of it. And remember, you can always tour a school more than once before making the big decision! Happy touring!
-Mary Grace Zwilling ’20