Now, ask yourself a few questions. Would you move into a house you’ve never seen before? Would you buy a car before you test drove it? Probably not!
Now, consider the college you think is the right one for you. Would you go to a college you’ve only heard about, read about, or seen pictures of in a brochure? Would you go to a college just because it’s an Ivy League, or another college just because it has a reputation for being one of the biggest party schools? I surely hope not! Please DO NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE!
Don’t choose a school just for its reputation or name, many people have made that mistake. Yes, I’m sure there are some college students who maybe saw their school for the first time the day they moved in to college, but is that really what you want to do? Do you want to be having your parents move you in, and you’re both figuring out what your college is all about for the first time? No! Just like most things in life, you won’t know if a school is the right one for you, until you visit!
You must visit every college you are highly considering attending or have been accepted to. At the same time do not rule out a college that you think you might not like before you at least visit.
I know it seems as though college brochures contain everything you must need to know about a school. But the truth is: THEY DON’T! It is not always bright and sunny outside a college, nor is everyone walking around, books in hand, smiling happily as they walk to and from class or meals. This is quite the contrary! Most college students are extremely stressed out, and it snows and rains at my school ( in the Northeast) more than I’ve seen sunshine for the past six months of my life! Do not be fooled by the happy college students or campus on the cover of a brochure! Of course everything looks nice in a pamphlet…it’s supposed to, so that you want to go there.
When visiting colleges, make sure you truly get a feel for each school. Every school has a different personality, just like every person on the campus, including yourself. Those personalities must match one another. There may be some schools you visit that just don’t quite seem to fit your needs and that’s okay. You have to find a school with a personality that fits your own.
Don’t just take the campus tour they offer to every visiting prospective student. Consider asking a current student to maybe show you around. After all, someone in admissions once told me, college students love to boast about themselves and their schools. It’s true! We want you on our campus, so ask us lots of questions when you visit! And make sure you eat in the dining halls and use some of the bathrooms! Make sure you see the dorms, and the gym! Make sure you visit the laundry room and the snack bar! You want to make sure that you are able to live comfortably in the college you choose. After all, it will be your home for the next four years. So, make your visit about more than just classes, and historical buildings that the admissions office will show you in your tour.
You’ve always heard, not to judge a book by its cover. Applying to college is the same way. Do not judge a college by a brochure.
I personally, ended up at one of the last schools I planned on attending when I applied to college in high school. I always thought I’d go to Yale, or maybe stay in state at FSU or UF, but then I got into those schools, and Williams. I visited them all, and realized that Williams was really where I felt the most at home. Nothing else mattered once I visited, because it felt right!
And you too will know when you find the school for you, and it just feels right! Go with your gut feeling !