Six Ways to Make the Most of Your Campus Visit
posted by Adeline Affonso, Director of Admissions
Tours can be intimidating and overwhelming. You don't know anyone. You're in a strange place. It's a little awkward, and the pressure is cranked all the way up. Perhaps you're thinking... THIS IS THE BIGGEST DECISION OF MY LIFE! MAKE A DECISION NOW! OH, GOSH WHAT IF I MESS UP?!
First, stay calm. These tours can be fun. And, like most things in life, it's best not to force anything. Trust your gut and ask lots and lots (and lots) of questions. And be sure to check out these campus staples to get a full picture of a school's personality, aesthetic, and overall vibe. Be a student for a day. See how it feels.
1. See if you can sit in on a class. Especially in a major you're interested in. If you can, try and meet with a department head or professor. What's their style? How big are the classrooms? Are the desks comfy? Hey, it matters!
2. Talk to students. They've been exactly where you are now—wondering how they're ever going to make this decision. But something drew them to this school, and kept them there. Ask about that process, what inspired them to enroll, and how they like being a student now. What clubs are they members of? What's the spiritual scene? Are there opportunities to engage in community service?
3. Eat with the locals. Where do the students eat? Do they have a variety of healthful options, and yummy ones, too? What's the off-campus scene like? Is it accessible, exciting, cool? What about the nightlife? Museums, theaters, art galleries, music venues, cafes, parks? Will you be able to have the experiences you really want to have?
4. Read the student newspaper. This will tell you so much about the essence of a school: What are the issues the students are talking and writing about? What gets them really excited? (In LIM's case, check out our magazine, The Lexington Line.)
5. Swing by the fitness center. When you're healthy, you're strong. And the best way to stay healthy is to keep moving. If your preferred method of exercising is at a gym, does this fitness center look like a place you'd want to visit on a regular basis? This might not be a make-or-break thing, but it's good to know if you can see yourself being happy on this campus.
6. Check out the library and study lounges. If you're doing it all right, you're going to be spending a good amount of time here. Make sure they're someplace you'd love to spend time in.
In addition to your campus touring, visit Open Houses, too, for a more curated campus experience. LIM's Undergraduate Open House is on May 13, so hurry and sign up now.