More Tips On Making The Most Of A College Visit

Visiting a college campus can be exciting, exhilarating, and a bit overwhelming. You are plopped in the middle of a small bubble that you may, or may not, spend at least 4 years of your life there. Some visits disappoint, or don’t live up to your expectations, while others may pleasantly surprise you. In the end, you should feel comfortable going to college that is the best “fit” for you. Here are some ways to feel out the vibe of the college campuses you visit.


This article is a follow-up to our original article about visiting colleges and making the most of a campus tour. You can follow this link to read the original article on our substack:

The substack article has a lot of great tips on information you should get while on the college visit, questions to ask for when you’re on campus, and the facilities you should check out.

running to the finish line

Plan by region, make it a trip

Because going to college campuses can sometimes take hours to get to, and sometimes you only spend 2-3 hours on the campus itself, try and use this as an opportunity to make it a multi-leg trip. Multiple students over at The Admissions Angle will take weekend trips to Boston and see Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Tufts, Boston University, and all the other colleges in the area, all in a weekend.

If you make it a weekend trip, you are then able to spend time off-campus exploring what the city has to offer beyond just your academics (you will be living in this city for a significant chunk of time).

If you are going with family, see if you can stay with cousins in the region. A pro to staying with family, besides saving money on hotels, is that they can provide a local perspective of the city you are visiting. You will probably be wide-eyed exploring the city, so it’s good to know people who live there who can give you a grounded perspective.

Know what kind of tour you’re getting into

Is it an official tour through the school? Is it a tour by alumni? Will there be a presentation?

As mentioned in the substack article, though it can be definitely fun and worthwhile to let a friend, current student, or alumni give you a tour; it’s definitely recommended to take an official tour through their welcome center or their student services.

Official tours are a great way to understand a school’s values. After all, it is a curated look at the aspects they’re most proud of. And if a college visit is all about figuring out the school, and your potential place in it, it’s probably good to find out if your values align with the colleges value. 

Try to get lunch somewhere on the edge of campus

It might be expensive to get food from the dining halls without a meal plan, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try the food around the area.

Get some coffee from a local coffee shop nearby, get lunch at the go-to family restaurant, a d try the slice-of-pizza from the spot probably opened till midnight on the weekends. 

Figuring out where people go near campus can help you make sense of the entire community that surrounds the school. It will also show where you can go to get a break from campus, or take folks when they come from out of town. 

Oftentimes, folks who work at these restaurants are either in school, or are somehow affiliated with the school. Local restaurants, and local stores in general, near a college campus, are pillars of the community; so asking the people who work there about the town could be insightful. 

Sit somewhere, breathe, and just listen

Decision Step Image

I like to tell students, if they can, to find somewhere to sit by themselves on campus, and just take in the sights and sounds around you. You can sit on the grass in the quad, inside a building with a busy cafe, or somewhere where you can feel the breeze of students rushing by you.

Does it feel comfortable sitting there? Could you see yourself being part of the campus ecosystem for four years?

Listen to the sounds of the campus. Try and imagine yourself there when you’re studying for finals, dealing with heartbreak, or eating a bagel. You may catch a glimpse of what your future could hold.

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